Prevalence and risk of malignancy of focal incidental uptake detected by fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in the parotid gland: a meta-analysis

Treglia G, Bertagna F, Sadeghi R, Muoio B, Giovanella L; European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology (Sep 2014)

This study aimed at performing a meta-analysis on the prevalence and risk of malignancy of focal parotid incidental uptake (FPIU) detected by hybrid fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) or (18)F-FDG PET alone.

A comprehensive literature search of studies published up to July 2014 was performed. Records reporting at least 5 FPIUs were selected. Pooled prevalence and malignancy risk of FPIU were calculated including 95 % confidence intervals (95 % CI). Twelve records were selected for our meta-analysis. Pooled prevalence of FPIU detected by (18)F-FDG PET or PET/CT was 0.6 % (95 % CI 0.4-0.7 %), collecting data of 220 patients with FPIU. Overall, 181 FPIUs underwent further evaluation and 165 FPIUs were pathologically proven. Pooled risk of malignancy was 9.6 % (95 % CI 5.4-14.8 %), 10.9 % (95 % CI 5.8-17.3 %) and 20.4 % (95 % CI 12.3-30 %), considering all FPIUs detected, only those which underwent further evaluation and only those pathologically proven, respectively. Selection bias in the included studies, the heterogeneity among studies and the publication bias are limitations of our meta-analysis. Overall FPIUs are observed in about 1 % of (18)F-FDG PET or PET/CT scans and they are benign in most of the cases. Nevertheless, further evaluation is needed whenever FPIUs are detected by (18)F-FDG-PET or PET/CT to exclude malignant lesions or with possible malignant degeneration. Prospective studies are needed to confirm the findings reported by our meta-analysis.