Analysis of the incidence and factors predictive of outcome in patients with head and neck cancer with pulmonary nodules

Richard Green, Mark T. Macmillan, Theofano Tikka, Lorna Bruce, John T. Murchison, Iain J. Nixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The management of pulmonary nodules is challenging; unfortunately, little is known about the incidence and significance of pulmonary nodules in patients with head and neck cancer. Methods: A review was conducted of 400 consecutive patients with head and neck cancer. Imaging was reviewed to identify the incidence of nodules and patient, tumor, and radiological factors associated with the risk of malignancy. Results: Nodules were found in 58% of patients, with a malignant rate of 6%. Age was the only predictor of having a nodule and advanced-stage III + IV was a predictor of malignancy (P =.023; odds ratio [OR] 10.64; confidence interval 1.33-84.98). Conclusion: Patients presenting with head and neck cancer have a higher incidence of pulmonary nodules and a higher risk of malignancy. In contrast to the British Thoracic Society (BTS) guidelines, which use size to guide the need for serial scans, we would recommend follow-up imaging in all patients with head and neck cancer with nodules, irrespective of size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2241-2248
Number of pages8
JournalHead and Neck
Volume39
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • CT scan
  • follow-up
  • head and neck cancer
  • pulmonary nodule
  • risk factors

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