Background: A meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the accuracy of whole-body positron emission tomography (PET) or PET/CT in M staging of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Methods: Through a search of relevant English language studies from October 1996 to September 2011, pooled estimated sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratios, negative likelihood ratios, and summary receiver operating characteristic (SROC) curves of whole-body PET or PET/CT in M staging of NPC were calculated. Results: Three PET and 5 PET/CT studies were identified. The pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio, and negative likelihood ratio of FDG-PET or PET/CT were 0.83 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.77-0.88), 0.97 (95% CI, 0.95-0.98), 23.38 (95% CI, 16.22-33.69), and 0.19 (95% CI, 0.13-0.25), respectively. The area under curve was 0.9764 and Q* index estimate was 0.9307 for FDG-PET or PET/CT. Conclusion: Current evidence confirms the good diagnostic performance of the whole-body FDG-PET or PET/CT in M staging of NPC.
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