Extension patterns of nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Eur Radiol. 2007 Oct;17(10):2622-30. doi: 10.1007/s00330-007-0616-z. Epub 2007 Apr 3.


The nasopharynx represents an intersection between the nasal choanae, the oropharynx, the deep facial spaces, the skull base and the intracranial cavity. Most nasopharyngeal neoplasms are malignant tumors showing aggressive local infiltration along well-defined routes. The primary role of imaging is accurate tumor mapping and detection of possible tumor extension, especially to the skull base and the deep facial spaces. The aim of this paper is to illustrate these extension patterns of nasopharyngeal carcinomas on imaging and to show the particular implication of imaging in the correct staging of the lesion.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Nasopharynx / anatomy & histology
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*