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Role of Computed Tomography (CT) in Localisation and Characterisation of Suprahyoid Neck Masses

Rashmeet Kaur, Paramdeep Singh, Navkiran Kaur, Simmi Bhatnagar, Anshul Dahuja

(Department of Radiology, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, Punjab, India)

Pol J Radiol 2017; 82:263-270

DOI: 10.12659/PJR.901072

Published: 2017-05-13

BACKGROUND: Suprahyoid neck lesions are difficult to assess only by means of clinical inspection and therefore imaging techniques are required to precisely evaluate suprahyoid neck spaces. The aim of this study was to evaluate the distinctive role of computed tomography in the assessment of anatomical source and pathological type of masses involving the suprahyoid neck spaces.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sixty patients presenting with suprahyoid neck masses underwent computed tomography of the neck. The CT findings were correlated with histopathological findings and a final diagnosis was made.
RESULTS: Overall, male preponderance was seen except in the case of parotid space lesions where female predominance was seen. The most common aetiology was squamous cell carcinoma and the majority of cases (30%) were seen in patients aged 41–50 years. The majority of lesions were found in the pharyngeal mucosal space (n=16) with squamous cell carcinoma being the most common pathology. In the parotid space, pleomorphic adenoma and in the prestyloid parapharyngeal space, squamous cell carcinoma were the most common lesions, respectively. In the retropharyngeal space, an equal incidence of malignant and inflammatory aetiologies was seen. Abscesses were the most common lesions in the prevertebral space. The pleomorphic adenoma was the most common benign tumour and was also the second most common tumour in the suprahyoid neck spaces. CT had an excellent correlation with histopathological findings with sensitivity of 96.4%, specificity of 100%, positive predictive value of 100% and a negative predictive value of 91.67%.
CONCLUSIONS: Computed tomography definitely has a major role to play in the evaluation of suprahyoid neck masses as it has an excellent correlation with post-operative histopathological diagnosis.

Keywords: Head and Neck Neoplasms, Neck, Pathology, Tomography, Spiral Computed