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Role of computerized tomography (CT) scan of the chest in patients with newly diagnosed head and neck cancers

Lookup NU author(s): Andrew Robson

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Abstract

Chest metastases and second primaries are not uncommon in patients with head and neck cancer. Early detection of a second site of malignant disease may alter prognosis and management. This study assessed the diagnostic yield of chest radiographs compared with computerized tomography (CT) in a series of patients with head and neck cancer. Forty-four consecutive patients with a head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) attending the head and neck surgery department of Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle, between January 2000 and December 2000 were included in this prospective study. Patients with lymphomas and localized cancers of the skin and lip were excluded. Thirty men and 14 women, with a mean age of 67 years, were assessed. All had chest radiographs and chest CT at the same time as the CT scan of the primary site. Only one patient had a true positive finding on chest radiograph. Five patients had an abnormal chest CT. Of these, two had multiple lung metastases, and another patient had biopsy-proved bronchogenic carcinoma and underwent surgical excision. The sensitivity and specificity of CT scan was 100% and 95%, as opposed to 33% and 97% for chest radiograph.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Arunachalam PS, Putnam G, Jennings P, Messersmith R, Robson AK

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Otolaryngology

Year: 2002

Volume: 27

Issue: 5

Pages: 409-411

ISSN (print): 1749-4478

ISSN (electronic): 1749-4486

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2273.2002.00605.x

DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2273.2002.00605.x


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