The neck after total laryngectomy: CT study

Radiology. 1984 Dec;153(3):713-7. doi: 10.1148/radiology.153.3.6494467.


Computed tomographic scans in 23 patients who had undergone total laryngectomy were analyzed retrospectively to determine normal postoperative appearance and to evaluate the role of CT in assessing recurrent neoplasm. Nine patients without clinical evidence of recurrence illustrated the normal postoperative changes: a round or ovoid neopharynx connecting the base of the tongue with the cervical esophagus and intact fat planes surrounding the neopharynx, neurovascular bundles, and sternocleidomastoid muscles. In the 12 patients with recurrent neoplasm, the CT manifestations included masses involving the internal jugular lymph node chain (adjacent to the neopharynx, neurovascular bundles, or sternocleidomastoid muscles), tracheostomy site, or paratracheal region. Recurrence was mimicked on CT in two patients, one with an abscess and one with metastases from an adenocarcinoma of unknown primary site. In eight patients, a distended neopharyngeal lumen correlated with benign or malignant stricture. CT supplemented physical examination and indirect mirror examination, providing data regarding presence and extent of recurrent tumor and aiding in planning the mode and scope of therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma / surgery
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Laryngectomy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnostic imaging*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed