JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Comparison of CT and MR imaging for the detection of extranodal neoplastic spread in metastatic neck nodes.

PURPOSE: To compare computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for the detection of extranodal neoplastic spread (ENS) in metastatic cervical nodes from head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 17 patients with a squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck underwent CT and MR imaging. The neck nodes were assessed for ENS and the results compared using pathology from the surgical resection.

RESULTS: Radiologic-pathologic correlation was performed in 51 malignant nodes. The accuracy, sensitivity and specificity were respectively 73, 65, 93% for CT, and 80, 78, 86% for MR imaging. Comparison of CT and MR imaging showed that there was no significant difference between the two modalities for either sensitivity (P = 0.1317) or specificity (P = 0.3173).

CONCLUSION: CT and MR imaging are comparable for the detection of ENS.

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