Imaging for Hypopharyngeal Cancer

Imaging is only required if it may change management

Imaging of Primary

  • T1 / T2
    • Minority require imaging
    • CT / MRI to exclude thyroid cartilage or prevertebral tissue invasion if tumour immobile at examination under anaesthesia
  • T3/4
    • CT / MRI rarely helpful if total laryngectomy planned
    • If total laryngectomy planned: consider CT / MRI if concern about extrapharyngeal extension or prevertebral tissue invasion
    • If chemoradiation considered
      • CT / MRI recommended
      • Thyroid cartilage invasion
      • Staging of cervical nodes

Cervical metastases

  • N0 neck: No need to image if elective neck dissection planned or for T1 cancers
  • N+ neck: Image (U/S or CT) if concern about resectability

Distant metastases:  CXR / CT chest: T2 – 4 cancers

Synchronous primary: CXR / CT chest

Index: Clinical Practice Guidelines for Hypopharyngeal Cancer

Resource Appropriate Hypopharynx Cancer Guideline Scenarios