Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in T-stage evaluation of oral and oropharyngeal carcinomas

Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 1992 Oct;17(5):421-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2273.1992.tb01686.x.


174 CT and 32 MRI investigations were carried out on patients with carcinomas of the mouth and oropharynx. The methods were compared and their value in predicting the pre-therapeutic T-staging studied. The combination of CT and clinical examination was able to improve the T-staging considerably compared with clinical examination alone. MRI was superior to CT in delineating the tumour margins in 78% of patients. T1-weighted and gradient echo sequences after intravenous gadolinium injection were particularly useful. Nevertheless, T-staging based on clinical and CT-findings was changed in only 5% of patients by MRI. MRI is especially useful in T1 tumours and in cancer of the base of the tongue. MRI should also be used instead of CT were dental fillings obscure the region of interest. If there are good MRI facilities and an experienced team available MRI can be used before CT.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*