The Role of Chest Computed Tomography in Staging of Oropharngeal Cancer: A Systematice Review

Issue: Vol.10, No.4 - October 2011

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Article Type: Manuscript

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  1. Dr N.M.H. McLeod
    Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery,
  2. Dr A Jess
    Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery,
  3. Dr R Anand
    FRCS (OMF)
    Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery,
  4. Dr E Tilley
    Department of Radiology,
  5. Dr B Higgins
    Department of Mathematics,
  6. Dr P.A Brennan
    Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery,

Background: The prevalence of synchronous or metastatic tumours in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) ranges from 6-20 % and has implications for prognosis and management of the primary disease. There is no consensus about the role of CT chest prior to definitive treatment patients with HNSCC.

Methods: A systematic review of all CT chest studies in relation to HNSCC was performed, together with a review of our local database.

Results: 24 Studies were identified in addition to our local data. Prevalence of positive CT chest was 7.93 %. Patients were significantly more likely to have a positive CT chest with N2 or N3 neck disease (P=0.0062), stage III or IV disease (P=0.0001) and significantly less likely with tumours of the oral cavity (P=0.0007).

Conclusions: We advocate CT chest as part of the initial investigations for patients with HNSCC.

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