Laryngeal or hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma: can follow-up CT after definitive radiation therapy be used to detect local failure earlier than clinical examination alone?
Hermans, Robert × Pameijer, F A Mancuso, A A Parsons, J T Mendenhall, W M #
Radiology vol:214 issue:3 pages:683-7
PURPOSE: To determine if follow-up computed tomography (CT) after definitive radiation therapy for laryngeal or hypopharyngeal (laryngopharyngeal) carcinoma allows the detection of local failure earlier than clinical examination alone. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Pre- and post-radiation therapy follow-up CT scans in 66 patients were reviewed retrospectively. All patients underwent definitive hyperfractionated radiation therapy and were followed up clinically for at least 2 years after its completion. Post-radiation therapy CT scans (N = 153) were evaluated for posttreatment changes with a three-point score: A score of 1 represented expected posttreatment changes; 2, focal mass with a maximal diameter of less than 1 cm and/or asymmetric obliteration of laryngeal tissue planes; or 3, focal mass with a maximal diameter equal to or greater than 1 cm or estimated tumor volume reduction of less than 50%. All patients underwent the first posttreatment CT study 1-6 months after therapy. New or progressive laryngeal cartilage changes were noted. The clinical impression of the larynx at the time of each follow-up CT scan was also recorded. RESULTS: In 12 of 29 (41%) patients with treatment failure at the primary site, follow-up CT scans were definite for local failure (score, 3) a mean of 5.5 months (median, 3.5 months; range, 1-17 months) before clinical examination results. CONCLUSION: In many patients, follow-up CT shows local failure earlier than does clinical examination alone.