The potential of positron emission tomography/computerized tomography (PET/CT) scanning as a detector of high-risk patients with oral infection during preoperative staging

Keisuke Yamashiro, Makoto Nakano, Koichi Sawaki, Fumihiko Okazaki, Yasuhisa Hirata, Shogo Takashiba

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Objective It is sometimes difficult to determine during the preoperative period whether patients have oral infections; these patients need treatment to prevent oral infection–related complications from arising during medical therapies, such as cancer therapy and surgery. One of the reasons for this difficulty is that basic medical tests do not identify oral infections, including periodontitis and periapical periodontitis. In this report, we investigated the potential of positron emission tomography/computerized tomography (PET/CT) as a diagnostic tool in these patients. Study Design We evaluated eight patients during the preoperative period. All patients underwent PET/CT scanning and were identified as having the signs of oral infection, as evidenced by 18F-fludeoxyglucose (FDG) localization in the oral regions. Periodontal examination and orthopantomogram evaluation showed severe infection or bone resorption in the oral regions. Results 18F-FDG was localized in oral lesions, such as severe periodontitis, apical periodontitis, and pericoronitis of the third molar. The densities of 18F-FDG were proportional to the degree of inflammation. Conclusions PET/CT is a potential diagnostic tool for oral infections. It may be particularly useful in patients during preoperative staging, as they frequently undergo scanning at this time, and those identified as having oral infections at this time require treatment before cancer therapy or surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-249
Number of pages8
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Oral Surgery
  • Dentistry (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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