Evaluation of hypopharyngeal carcinoma using high-resolution ultrasound: comparison with CT

J Clin Ultrasound. 2014 Mar-Apr;42(3):143-9. doi: 10.1002/jcu.22130. Epub 2014 Jan 17.


Background: To evaluate the role of sonography (US) in assessing hypopharyngeal carcinoma when compared with CT.

Methods: A randomized prospective study was performed on 40 biopsy-proven cases of hypopharyngeal carcinoma.Contrast-enhanced CT of the neck was performed in all patients, followed by US. Sonographic identification of any tumor extension into the extralaryngeal soft tissues, postcricoid space, subglottis, thyroid gland, esophagus, and across the midline was recorded. US observations and CT findings were compared and then correlated with the histopathologic findings in 14 operative cases. In the remaining 26 inoperable cases, US was compared only with CT.

Results: Our cohort was composed of 38 men and 2 women ranging in age from 36 to 59 years. In a subset of 14 operative patients, US had a sensitivity of 71.4% (10/14), while CT achieved a sensitivity of 92.8% (13/14), and the difference was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). US and CT findings concurred in 67.5% (27/40) of cases.

Conclusions: Even though small tumors are difficult to visualize, US can play a significant role in the assessment of tumor extension within and beyond the larynx, especially when cross-sectional imaging is either unavailable or unaffordable.

Keywords: CT; US; hypopharyngeal cancer; neck.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypopharyngeal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hypopharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography