Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography with computed tomography detects greater metabolic changes that are not represented by plain radiography for patients with osteonecrosis of the jaw

Kenneth E. Fleisher, Roy A. Raad, Rajan Rakheja, Vikas Gupta, King Chong Chan, Kent P. Friedman, Professor Karen A. Mourtzikos, Malvin Janal, Robert S. Glickman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Imaging is important to identify subclinical changes and for treatment planning in patients with osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) exposed to antiresorptive therapy. The aim of this study was to compare the findings at radiography with those at fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) with computed tomography (CT) for patients with ONJ related to antiresorptive therapy. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional retrospective analysis of patients with clinically identified ONJ lesions of the mandible was performed. Two imaging modalities were evaluated for each patient: plain radiography (ie, panoramic or periapical) and FDG PET/CT with 1-mm sections. Outcome variables for the radiographic findings were osteolytic and osteosclerotic bone changes. Outcome variables for FDG PET/ CT images were localization of FDG uptake. Maximum standard uptake values (SUVmax) of abnormal FDG jaw uptake were recorded, in addition to the mean SUV of the contralateral normal mandible, and used to calculate the target-to-background ratio. Radiographic changes and FDG uptake were classified as local (ie, corresponding to exposed cortical bone) or diffuse (ie, local changes and changes extending beyond the margins of exposed bone) for each imaging technique. Local and diffuse changes detected by each imaging modality were described and the difference in detection was compared with the McNemar test. Results: Twenty-three patientswith 25 clinically identified ONJ lesions were analyzed using radiography and FDG PET/CT. Differences were found in how radiography and FDG PET/CT detect local and diffuse changes associated with ONJ. Radiography showed local changes in 17 patients (68%), diffuse changes in 3 patients (12%), and no changes in 5 patients (20%), whereas FDG PET/CT imaging showed local changes in 17 patients (68%) and diffuse changes in 8 patients (32%). The McNemar test indicated that FDG PET/CT imaging was less likely to miss a lesion (P < .001). Mean SUVmax was 6.59, and the mean target-to-background ratio was 5.37. Conclusion: The results of this study show that FDG PET/CT detects local and diffuse metabolic changes that may not be represented by plain radiography for patients with ONJ related to antiresorptive therapy. The target-to-background ratio allowed the discrimination between ONJ lesions and background changes. Future studies are necessary to determine whether FDG PET/CT can determine risk and facilitate management of ONJ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1957-1965
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Volume72
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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