F-18 FDG-PET is generally considered insensitive for the detection of perineural tumor spread. A case is presented of abnormal linear tracer uptake corresponding to the body of the right mandible on a PET scan in a patient with a history of lip melanoma. MRI correlation showed abnormal enlargement and enhancement of the intramandibular portion of the right inferior alveolar nerve. Surgical resection with pathologic analysis confirmed perineural spread of spindle cell melanoma of the lip. Perineural tumor should be considered when asymmetric linear radiotracer uptake is seen on PET scans of the head and neck that does not correspond to the anatomic course of muscular structures.
- Perineural tumor
- Trigeminal nerve
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging