Article Type

Original Study


Objectives The aim of this study was to assess the reliability of computed tomography (CT) and MRI in evaluating pharyngeal lesions by comparing the two imaging modalities. Background The pharynx is a region of considerable anatomical and functional complexity, making the accurate diagnosis of pharyngeal lesion a challenging task. CT or MRI is performed for pretherapeutic assessment of pharyngeal lesions. Both can supply the information needed by the clinician for adequate treatment planning. Patients and methods Forty patients with pharyngeal lesions were evaluated using CT and/or MRI according to the decision of the treating physician. The results of imaging were assessed based on the corresponding histopathological diagnosis to define the true benign, true malignant, false benign, and false malignant results. Statistical analysis was performed to calculate the sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of each technique, and the correct results of the two techniques were compared in 28 patients subjected to both. Results The study included 40 patients with lesions distributed among three anatomical sites: the nasopharynx (15), the oropharynx (nine), and the hypopharynx (16). The lesions included 23 malignant, nine benign neoplastic, and eight inflammatory lesions. CT was performed for all patients, whereas MRI was performed for 28 patients. CT revealed a sensitivity of 78.2%, a specificity of 70.6%, a diagnostic accuracy of 75%, a positive predictive value of 78.2%, and a negative predictive value of 70.6%. MRI revealed a sensitivity of 89.5%, a specificity of 77.8%, a diagnostic accuracy of 85.7%, a positive predictive value of 89.5%, and a negative predictive value of 77.8%. On comparing the overall results of CT and MRI, there was a nonsignificant difference (P = 0.19). Conclusion Both CT and MRI are effective imaging modalities for evaluating a pharyngeal mass. No significant difference was found between them as regards reaching the correct diagnosis of pharyngeal lesion.