Accuracy of computed tomography in determining the presence or absence of metastatic retropharyngeal adenopathy

David D. Morrissey, J. Michael Talbot, James I. Cohen, Mark K. Wax, Peter E. Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To decide the accuracy of computed tomography in determining the presence or absence of metastatic retropharygeal adenopathy in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Design: A comparison of the results of retrospective blinded review of preoperative computed tomographic scans with the histologic findings of retropharyngeal node dissection at the time of surgery. Setting: Academic tertiary care center. Patients: Twenty-six patients with advanced stage squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Main Outcome Measures: Computed tomographic findings and histologic results of retropharyngeal node dissection. Results: The retropharyngeal nodes were pathologically positive for metastasis in 6 (23%) of the 26 patients. The radiologist (J.M.T.) correctly read the scan in 3 of 6 patients with histologically proved metastasis, and in 14 of 20 patients with histologic features negative for metastasis. The sensitivity of the radiologist reading was 50%, and the specificity was 70%. The positive predictive value was 33%, and the negative predictive value was 82%. Conclusion: The presence of retropharyngeal node metastasis cannot be determined by computed tomographic imaging alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1478-1481
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Volume126
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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