Detection of cartilage invasion in laryngeal carcinoma with dynamic contrast-enhanced CT

Dankbaar, Jan W, Oosterbroek, Jaap, Jager, Lisanne, de Jong, Hugo W, Raaijmakers, CPJ, Willems, Stefan M, Terhaard, Chris H, Philippens, Marielle E, Pameijer, Frank A


Laryngoscope 2 (6), p. 373-379


Objective: Staging of laryngeal cancer largely depends on cartilage invasion. Presence of cartilage invasion affects treatment choice and prognosis. On MRI and contrast-enhanced CT (CECT) it may be challenging to differentiate cartilage invasion from inflammation. The purpose of this study is to compare the diagnostic properties of dynamic contrast-enhanced CT (DCECT) and CECT for visual detection of cartilage invasion in laryngeal cancer.

Study Design: Prospective cohort study.

Methods: Patients with T3 or T4 laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma treated with total laryngectomy were evaluated using 0.625 mm slice CT. DCECT derived permeability and blood volume maps and CECT images were visually evaluated for the presence of invasion of the cartilaginous T-stage subsites of laryngeal cancer, by detecting continuity with the tumor-bulk of increased permeability, increased blood volume, and enhancement. Histological evaluation of the surgical total laryngectomy specimen served as the gold standard. Sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive value, and positive predictive value were calculated and compared using the McNemar and Chi-squared test.

Results: From 14 included patients, a total of 462 subsites were available for T-stage analysis, of which 84 were cartilage. The median time between CT imaging and total laryngectomy was 1 day (range 1-34 days). There was no significant difference in the detection of cartilage invasion between DCECT and CECT. The sensitivity of CECT was better for all subsites combined (0.85 vs. 0.75; p < 0.01).

Conclusion: DCECT does not improve visual detection of cartilage invasion in T3 and T4 laryngeal cancer compared to CECT.

Level of Evidence: 2b, individual cohort study.