Investigators have used positron emission tomography with 18F-fluoro-D-deoxyglucose to obtain information not only for the diagnosis of cancers, but also for researching physiology in skeletal muscles. The aim of this study was to evaluate the activities of the jaw and tongue muscles during gum-chewing. Five volunteers aged 32-61 years were studied by positron emission tomography. They were requested to chew two pieces of chewing gum for 30 min after intravenous injection of 18F-fluoro-D-deoxyglucose. 18F-fluoro-D-deoxyglucose uptake in the intrinsic tongue muscle was significantly (p < 0.05) higher than that in the masseter, temporal, and medial pterygoid muscles. Heterogeneous uptake of 18F-fluoro-D-deoxyglucose was observed in the masticatory muscles. In addition, the tongue exhibited higher activity than the masticatory muscles. In conclusion, positron emission tomography with 18F-fluoro-D-deoxyglucose appeared to be a useful technique for investigating the physiologic activities of the skeletal muscles, which have been difficult to examine by conventional methods.
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