Correlation of endoscopic and histologic findings before and after treatment for nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Andrea Gallo, Marco De Vincentiis, Carlo Della Rocca, Rossana Moi, Marilia Simonelli, Antonio Minni, Ashok R. Shaha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. The endoscopic and histologic findings before and after radiotherapy (RT) for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) were correlated to study the sensitivity and specificity of endoscopic findings in predicting histologic results. The efficiacy of endoscopic examination and post-RT multiple site biopsies in detecting persistent disease was also evaluated. Methods. Seven hundred forty-six patients were evaluated. Pre-RT, biopsies were taken from both sides of the nasopharynx to assess the extent of tumor. Four to 16 weeks after RT, routine six-site biopsy specimens were taken from both roofs, lateral, and posterior walls of the nasopharynx and repeated 2 weeks later. Endoscopic findings of exophytic growth, nodule, ulcer, and submucosal bulge were considered "residual tumor," others were considered "no residual tumor." Persistent disease was defined as positive histologic findings 12 weeks after RT. Results. Before RT, sensitivity of endoscopic findings and biopsy specimens in detecting malignancy were 99.7% and 94.2%, respectively. After RT, sensitivity and specificity of endoscopic findings in predicting positive histologic findings were 29% and 85.8%, respectively, with a positive predictive value of 34.9% and a negative predictive value of 82.2%. Of positive histologic findings, 27.7% were missed in the first session of biopsies; 33.5% of those with positive histologic findings turned out to have persistent disease. For prediction of persistent disease, the sensitivity and specificity of endoscopic findings were 40.4% and 84.4%, with a positive predictive value of 16.3% and a negative predictive value of 95%, and that of histologic findings in the first session of biopsies were 59.6% and 88.3%, respectively, with a positive predictive value of 27.7% and a negative predictive value of 96.7%. Conclusions. Endoscopic findings alone have low sensitivity in predicting persistent disease, multiple sites biopsy specimens are indicated. Because only 1.9% of patients with endoscopic findings of "no residual tumor" and negative histologic findings in first session of biopsies had persistent disease, this group can be spared second biopsies. Repeat biopsies are indicated for those with endoscopic findings of "residual tumor" or positive histologic findings in first session of biopsies to improve detection of persistent disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalHead and Neck
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Biopsy
  • Endoscopy
  • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • Persistent disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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