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Accurate assessment of thyroid cartilage invasion on preoperative imaging influences management in patients with laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers. We evaluated the clinical usefulness of contrast-enhanced 3D T1-weighted radial gradient recalled-echo for preoperative assessment of thyroid cartilage invasion in patients with laryngohypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, compared with 2D spin-echo T1WI. Preoperative MR images of 52 consecutive patients who were diagnosed with laryngeal or hypopharyngeal cancer and underwent partial or total laryngectomy were analyzed. Pathologic specimens served as reference standards. Two independent head and neck radiologists evaluated the presence of thyroid cartilage invasion in both contrast-enhanced 2D spin-echo T1WI and 3D gradient recalled-echo sequences. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the 2 modalities were compared. The area under the curve was a measure of diagnostic performance. Pathologic neoplastic thyroid cartilage invasion was identified in 24 (46.2%) of the 52 patients. The sensitivity (75.0%), specificity (96.4%), and accuracy (86.5%) of contrast-enhanced 3D gradient recalled-echo were significantly higher than those of 2D spin-echo T1WI (58.3%, 89.3%, and 75.0%; P = .017, .003, and .002, respectively). 3D gradient recalled-echo had significantly better diagnostic performance (area under the curve = 0.963) than 2D spin-echo T1WI (area under the curve = 0.862; P = .010). Contrast-enhanced 3D gradient recalled-echo was diagnostically superior in identifying neoplastic thyroid cartilage invasion compared with 2D spin-echo T1WI in patients with laryngohypopharyngeal cancer, and therefore, may provide more accurate preoperative staging. © 2021 by American Journal of Neuroradiology.


C J Park, J-H Kim, S S Ahn, S-K Lee, Y W Koh, J Kim. Preoperative MRI Evaluation of Thyroid Cartilage Invasion in Patients with Laryngohypopharyngeal Cancer: Comparison of Contrast-Enhanced 2D Spin-Echo and 3D T1-Weighted Radial Gradient Recalled-Echo Techniques. AJNR. American journal of neuroradiology. 2021 Sep;42(9):1690-1694

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PMID: 34301638

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