The presence of metastases plays a fundamental role in staging of patients with head and neck cancer before treatment. The aim of this study was to determine the role of ultrasonography (US) of the liver in the evaluation of patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).
Materials and Methods:
The records were reviewed of 131 patients with OSCC (age range 29-84 years, mean 55) who had undergone a routine plain chest X-ray, an ultrasound examination and CT scan of the head and neck and/or the thorax, an enzyme and ultrasound examination of the liver and sometimes a bone scintigraphy.
US exam showed no signs of liver metastases in 126/131 patients. In the other 5 patients focal alterations of liver eco-pattern were identified, raising the possibility of liver metastases. Only one case of true positive findings of liver metastases was identified in a patient with T2, N0 OSCC of the tongue.
In this series we identified only one case of liver metastases from 131 patients retrospectively evaluated. Ultrasound screening in patients with OSCC seems unjustified.
squamous cell carcinomas of head and neck, ultrasonography, liver metastases