The Additional Value of Ultrafast DCE-MRI to DWI-MRI and 18F-FDG-PET to Detect Occult Primary Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

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To evaluate diagnostic accuracy of qualitative analysis and interobserver agreement of single ultrafast-DCE, DWI or 18F-FDG-PET and the combination of modalities for the detection of unknown primary tumor (UPT) in patients presenting with cervical lymph node metastasis from squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Between 2014-2019, patients with histologically proven cervical lymph node metastasis of UPT SCC were prospectively included and underwent DWI, ultrafast-DCE, and 18F-FDG-PET/CT. Qualitative assessment was performed by two observers per modality. Interobserver agreement was calculated using the proportion specific agreement. Diagnostic accuracy of combined use of DWI, ultrafast-DCE and 18F-FDG-PET/CT was assessed. Twenty-nine patients were included (20 males. [68%], median age 60 years). Nine (31%) primary tumors remained occult. Ultrafast-DCE added reader confidence for suspicious locations (one additional true positive (5%), 2 decisive true malignant (10%). The per-location analysis showed highest specific positive agreement for ultrafast-DCE (77.6%). The per-location rating showed highest sensitivity (95%, 95%CI = 75.1-99.9, YI = 0.814) when either one of all modalities was scored positive, and 97.4% (95%CI = 93.5-99.3, YI = 0.774) specificity when co-detected on all. The per-patient analysis showed highest sensitivity (100%) for 18F-FDG-PET/CT (YI = 0.222) and either DWI or PET (YI = 0.111). Despite highest trends, no significant differences were found. The per-patient analysis showed highest specific positive agreement when co-detected on all modalities (55.6%, 95%CI = 21.2-86.3, YI = 0.456). Ultrafast-DCE showed potential to improve detection of unknown primary tumors in addition to DWI and 18F-FDG-PET/CT in patients with cervical squamous cell carcinoma lymph node metastasis. The combined use of ultrafast-DCE, DWI and 18F-FDG-PET/CT yielded highest sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2826
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

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