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Outcomes of synchronous pulmonary nodules detected on computed tomography in head and neck cancer patients: 12-year retrospective review of a consecutive cohort

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ivan Zammit-Maempel, Professor Vinidh Paleri


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Objective: To investigate the long-term outcomes of pulmonary nodules detected on chest computed tomography in a consecutive cohort of patients with newly diagnosed or recurrent head and neck squamous cell cancer staged between 2001 and 2003.Results: The study included 222 patients, 148 patients with newly diagnosed head and neck cancer (group 1) and 74 patients with recurrent cancer (group 2). Abnormalities were identified in 101 patients (45.4 per cent); these were predominantly benign in group 1 (61.7 per cent) as compared to predominantly malignant in group 2 (64.3 per cent) (Fisher's exact test; p = 0.0009). Only four patients (7.4 per cent) with an initially benign-looking pulmonary nodule went on to develop malignancy over time, conferring a negative predictive value of 93 per cent for the whole cohort.Conclusion: Chest computed tomography abnormalities in patients with recurrent head and neck cancer are statistically more likely to be malignant. Very few patients with an initially benign-appearing nodule develop chest malignancy over time.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Zammit-Maempel I, Kurien R, Paleri V

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Laryngology and Otology

Year: 2016

Volume: 130

Issue: 6

Pages: 575-580

Print publication date: 01/06/2016

Online publication date: 15/03/2016

Acceptance date: 19/12/2015

ISSN (print): 0022-2151

ISSN (electronic): 1748-5460



DOI: 10.1017/S0022215116000736