Utility of Likert scale (Deauville criteria) in assessment of Chemoradiotherapy response of primary oropharyngeal squamous cell Cancer site



      The aim of this study is to determine whether Likert scale (Deauville criteria) can be used to classify oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer (OPSCC) patients as ‘responders’ and ‘nonresponders’ by utilizing FDG-PET/CT for primary tumor site. The second aim is to compare the performance of methods used in interpretation of posttreatment PET/CT scans (Likert scale, SUVmax, ratios of SUVmax primary lesion to mediastinum ‘SUVmax P/M’ and SUVmax primary lesion to liver ‘SUVmax P/L’) in predicting treatment response.


      Seventy-seven PET/CT scans were assessed by Deauville criteria, five-point Likert scale. SUVmax of primary lesion, SUVmax primary to mediastinum and SUVmax primary to liver ratios on first follow-up PET/CT were measured and calculated. Pathology results, clinical and imaging follow-up were used as standart reference.


      Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive and negative predictive value of Likert scale were found to be 80%, 89.5%, 53.3% and 96.8% respectively. When Likert scale and PET parameters were compared, no statistically significant difference was found. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) was used to determine the optimal cut-off points for SUVmax (found as 4) and for ratios (SUVmax P/M = 1.67and SUVmax P/L = 1.7) with the highest specificity and NPV.


      Likert scale adequately categorize patients as ‘responders’ and ‘non-responders’. Since its NPV is high and interpretation is relatively easy, it can be utilized to evaluate OPSCC response to treatment in first follow up FDG PET/CT.


      OPSCC (oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer), HNSCC (head and neck squamous cell cancer), FDG-PET/CT (18F-Fluoro-d-glucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography), CRT (chemoradiotherapy), SUV (standardized uptake value)


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