Nasopharyngeal carcinomas part I: CT and MR patterns of spread

F. Roncallo, I. Turtulici, G. Sanguineti, G. Margarino, M. Scala, P. Mereu, G. Tedeschi, B. Gasparetto, A. Bartolini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of CT and MRI staging on the RT plan analyzing the patterns of spread of nasopharyngeal tumours. Pre- treatment CT and MRI examinations of 28 patients (28-65 years old, mean age 42; 16 men, 12 women) with primary nasopharyngeal cancer were retrospectively evaluated. CT and MRI in clinically known or suspected nasopharyngeal cancer showed in all cases the extent and spread of the pathologic tissue; consequently the American Joint Committee On Cancer (AJCC) staging system for primary nasopharyngeal tumours was strictly respected. Imaging permitted in all cases a good evaluation of neck nodes; retropharyngeal, junctional, jugulodigastric and accessory spinal lymph nodes were correctly staged on the basis of size, density-intensity, shape and contrast enhancement. The impact of non- and minimally-invasive diagnostic imaging techniques on head and neck diseases is well known. Clinical evaluation of the nasopharynx and nearby deep fascial planes is hard and fiberoptic examination detects only mucosal surfaces of the organ. Consequently prognosis and therapy of nasopharyngeal carcinomas depend on CT and MR staging both of the primary site and neck nodes. The RT beam and portals are focused on the basis of imaging and the results of the therapy may be correctly investigated only by the comparative analysis of the first follow-up examination with pre-treatment morphological data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-449
Number of pages17
JournalRivista di Neuroradiologia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Cancers
  • Computed tomography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Nasopharynx
  • Neck nodes
  • TNM staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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