Imaging the Larynx and Hypopharynx
The larynx and hypopharynx are imaged with either computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A standard CT examination is done in the supine position, and the patient is instructed to resist swallowing or coughing. Axial slices are obtained from the base of the skull to the trachea with a scan orientation parallel to the true vocal cords. Iodinated contrast material (total dose, 35–40 g iodine) is given intravenously with an automated power injector. Images are obtained during quiet breathing rather than during apnea because the abducted position of the true vocal cords facilitates evaluation of the anterior and posterior commissures. Acquisitions with 3-mm colli-mation at pitch 1 and overlapping reconstruction intervals of 2 mm are the minimum parameters necessary to evaluate the larynx. With multislice CT scanners, a slice thickness of 1.3 mm and overlapping reconstructions every 0.6 mm are used routinely by many investigators, including myself, allowing high quality twodimensional (2D) reconstructions in the coronal or sagittal plane.
KeywordsThyroid Cartilage Cricoid Cartilage Glottic Carcinoma Cartilage Invasion Piriform Sinus
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