|Authors||Prehn RB, Pasic TR, Harari PM, Brown WD, Ford CN|
|Journal||Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg Volume: 119 Issue: 6 Pages: 628-33|
|Publish Date||1998 Dec|
Refinements in radiographic techniques have resulted in increased use of radiographic studies in the evaluation of patients with head and neck cancer over the past 20 years. To assess the impact of such studies, we compared tumor clinical stages based solely on physical-examination findings with those obtained with the addition of CT findings. This study was accomplished through case review of 81 head and neck cancer patients who underwent CT after preliminary TNM-stage assignment as determined on the basis of physical examination alone. In this cohort, 44 patients (54%) had a change in assigned clinical stage. We reviewed individual anatomic sites to determine where CT was found to be most useful in modifying tumor stage. Changes in tumor and nodal stage were found across all major sites of the head and neck. Tumors of the hypopharynx were the most likely to change stage (90%) on the basis of CT findings, whereas tumors of the glottic larynx were least likely to undergo a change in stage (16%). The therapeutic implications of these findings are discussed in the context of the published literature.