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Positron Emission Tomographic Imaging Elucidates the Complex Relationship Between Glucose Uptake and Tissue Blood Flow Mechanism in Squamous Cell Oral Cancer Patients

Ping Xu, Yan Li, Shuyong Yang, Mingzhe Li, Chenjun Li

Department of Stomatology, Chengdu Military General Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:4533-4540

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.903974

Available online:

Published: 2017-09-21


BACKGROUND: Through the clinical use of positron emission tomography, we aimed to elucidate the complex relationship between glucose uptake and squamous cell oral cancer (ScOC) growth, along with its mechanism with respect to tissue blood flow (tBF).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed a total of 69 newly diagnosed ScOC patients by Fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET). Maximum and mean standard uptake values (SUV↑ and SUV) were recorded to assess glucose uptake. Multi-shot spin-echo echo-planar imaging-based pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling (pcASL) technique at 3.0 T MRI was used to obtain tBF values in ScOC (tBF-ScOC). Patients were divided according to T-stage and location. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were calculated between both SUV and tBF-ScOC for significant correlations.
RESULTS: Forty-one (59.4%) patients had oropharynx and the other 28 (40.6%) patients had laryngopharynx. Significant positive correlations were detected between SUV↑, SUV, tBF-ScOC and non-advanced T-stage (T1a, T1b, T2 and T3), while a negative correlation was observed in the advanced T-stage (T4a and T4b).
CONCLUSIONS: Using PET imaging, we established the relationship between glucose uptake and ScOC growth on the basis of the division of T-stage and tumor location of ScOC, thereby elucidating the underlying mechanism. Our findings provide insights important to the diagnosis, treatment, and care of ScOC patients.

Keywords: Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, Oropharynx, Positron-Emission Tomography



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