To evaluate the efficacy of computed tomography (CT) in the identification of metastatic cervical node involvement from cancer of the oral cavity and oropharynx, 61 consecutive, previously untreated patients with T2 or greater squamous cell carcinoma of these sites were studies prospectively by CT, followed within 1 month by surgery to the primary and neck as initial treatment. The CT scan of each patient was evaluated according to the location, size, and appearance of visible nodes, and each feature was correlated with the histopathologic findings of all 83 neck specimens. A significant relationship was found between CT findings (node size, node appearance, and multiplicity of nodes) and the pathologic status of the neck using Chi‐square contingency table analysis (overall x2 = 30.928, p < 0.001). This data supports the role of CT in the evaluation of patients with cancer of these sites.
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