Contrast-enhanced ultrasound for diagnosis of an enlarged cervical lymph node in a patient with oropharyngeal cancer: a case report

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In oral and oropharyngeal cancer, the presence of regional neck metastasis strongly influences treatment planning and survival prognosis. A number of imaging techniques can be utilized in the clinic for diagnosis and staging. A patient with oropharyngeal cancer was staged T2 cN1 after clinical examination, computed tomography, and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography with computed tomography. Contrast-enhanced microbubble imaging was applied for diagnosis of a lymph node suspected of harboring a metastasis. The result of the microbubble procedure showed the suspicious node to be tumor negative, and this was later confirmed by frozen section and serial step section of the harvested node. Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography with introduction of intravenous microbubble contrast may be of benefit in staging oropharyngeal cancer in patients with enlarged neck lymph nodes.

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