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Multidetector computed tomography in nonmalignant laryngeal disease

Storck, Claudioa; Buitrago-Tellez, Carlosb,c

Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery: December 2012 - Volume 20 - Issue 6 - p 443–449
doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e328359f358

Purpose of review Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) is the examination of choice for laryngeal imaging in benign and malignant lesions. This review gives an overview of the MDCT scanning technique and discusses the advantages and disadvantages in investigation of benign lesions of the larynx.

Recent findings MDCT is not the primary diagnostic method for benign lesions on the vocal folds. However, CT is indispensable for the diagnostic investigation of immobility of the vocal fold, for laryngoceles, and for laryngeal trauma, and may allow the exact delineation of extension and nature of benign laryngeal disease. The improved spatial resolution with consecutive high-quality two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions using thin-slice MDCT allows a better detection of laryngeal anatomic structures and benign pathologies.

Summary The investigation of choice in diagnosing the cause of hoarseness is laryngoscopy and/or laryngostroboscopy, respectively. Nevertheless, thin-slice MDCT with multiplanar 2D and 3D volume-rendered reconstructions is essential for exact anatomic definition and extension and diagnosis of subtle benign laryngeal diseases.

aDepartment of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Phoniatrics and Laryngology, University Hospital Basel, Basel

bDepartment of Radiology, Hospital of Zofingen

cHightech Research Center for CMF Surgery, University of Basel, Switzerland

Correspondence to Claudio Storck, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital Basel, Petersgraben 4, 4031 Basel, Switzerland. Tel: +41 61 2654134; fax: +41 61 2654284; e-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.