Objective: The two currently acceptable treatment options for locally advanced laryngeal cancer are total laryngectomy and organ preservation using chemoradiation. To facilitate therapeutic decision making, the accurate pre-treatment evaluation of cartilage invasion is of paramount importance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) of detecting neoplastic cartilage invasion in laryngeal cancer patients using fast-speed multidetector CT (MDCT). Methods: 61 consecutive patients with clinically staged T3 or T4 squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx or hypopharynx who underwent total laryngectomy were analysed. All patients had MDCT of the neck within 2 weeks prior to surgery. Central radiographic and pathological review was performed in an attempt to correlate findings. MDCT invasion of cartilage was graded based on objective criteria. Results: MDCT scan was found to have a PPV of 78% and an NPV of 100% for detection of invasion through cartilage, with sensitivity being 100% and specificity 96%. For detection of any cartilage invasion (minor, major or through cartilage invasion), PPV and NPV were 63% and 92%, respectively. The sensitivity was 85% and specificity was 75%. For the detection of tumour invasion through cartilage or major cartilage invasion, MDCT scan had a PPV of 53% and an NPV of 95%. 47% (9/19) patients were down-staged from T4 to T3 after central pathology review. Conclusion: The lowPPV for cartilage destruction using MDCT suggests that a significant proportion of patients who were treated by total laryngectomy could have been appropriately offered organ preservation if more accurately staged at initial diagnosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging