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Purpose of reviewTo show the role of functional MRI in patients treated for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Recent findingsMRI is commonly used for treatment evaluation in patients with head and neck tumors. However, anatomical MRI has its limits in differentiating between post-treatment effects and tumor recurrence. Recent studies showed promising results of functional MRI for response evaluation.
SummaryThis review analyzes possibilities and limitations of functional MRI sequences separately to obtain insight in the post-therapy setting. Diffusion, perfusion and spectroscopy show promise, especially when utilized complimentary to each other. These functional MRI sequences aid in the early detection which might improve survival by increasing effectiveness of salvage therapy. Future multicenter longitudinal prospective studies are needed to provide standardized guidelines for the use of functional MRI in daily clinical practice.