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HEAD AND NECK SYMPOSIUM Table of Contents   
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 209-226
Imaging in laryngeal cancers


1 Vijaya Diagnostics, Hyderabad, India
2 Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, India
3 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Correspondence Address:
Varsha M Joshi
Senior Consultant, Vijaya Diagnostics, Hyderabad
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-3026.107183

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Imaging plays an important complementary role to clinical examination and endoscopic biopsy in the evaluation of laryngeal cancers. A vast majority of these cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). Cross-sectional imaging with contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging allows excellent depiction of the intricate anatomy of the larynx and the characteristic patterns of submucosal tumor extension. CT, MRI and more recently PET-CT, also provide vital information about the status of cervical nodal disease, systemic metastases and any synchronous malignancies. Additionally, certain imaging-based parameters like tumor volume and cartilaginous abnormalities have been used to predict the success of primary radiotherapy or surgery in these patients. Integration of radiological findings with endoscopic evaluation greatly improves the pretherapeutic staging accuracy of laryngeal cancers, and significantly impacts the choice of management strategies in these patients. Imaging studies also help in the post-therapeutic surveillance and follow-up of patients with laryngeal cancers. In this article, we review the currently used laryngeal imaging techniques and protocols, the key anatomic structures relevant to tumor spread and the characteristic patterns of submucosal extension and invasion of laryngeal cancer. The role of CT, MRI and PET-CT in the evaluation of patients with laryngeal SCC and the impact of imaging findings on prognosis and clinical management is also discussed.


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