The purpose of this study was to examine the diagnostic value of the combination of F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET and Tc-99m pertechnetate salivary gland scintigraphy in parotid tumors.
Materials and Methods:
Seventy-two patients with benign parotid gland tumors (n = 52), malignant parotid tumors (n = 12), and inflammation (n = 8) underwent both FDG PET and salivary gland scintigraphy within 1 week, and 66 of the patients also underwent gallium scintigraphy. All patients were negative on their first fine-needle aspiration (FNA).
Malignant parotid tumors showed significantly higher FDG uptake (standard uptake values [SUVs]) than both benign tumors and inflammation, except in Warthin's tumor (5.82 ± 3.95 vs. 2.07 ± 1.33; P <0.01). Although the SUV values of Warthin's tumor and malignant parotid tumors overlapped somewhat, Warthin's tumor did demonstrate increased radiotracer uptake, and it was reliably distinguished from other parotid gland tumors by the use of salivary gland scintigraphy. Considering a SUV value >3 as being positive for malignancy and excluding Warthin's tumor on the basis of salivary gland scintigraphy, sensitivity and specificity of FDG PET were 75% and 80%, respectively. These results were superior to those of gallium scintigraphy (58% and 72%, respectively).
Although the diagnostic value of FDG PET in the differentiation of malignant from benign parotid gland tumors was limited because of the high FDG uptake in some benign tumors, and particularly pleomorphic adenomas, combining salivary gland scintigraphy with FDG PET may help to negate this drawback, and this combination may be a more promising approach for differentiation of various parotid gland tumors in patients compared with nondiagnostic needle aspiration.