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Head Neck. 2011 Jan;33(1):77-81. doi: 10.1002/hed.21397.

Risk factors for developing synchronous esophageal neoplasia in patients with head and neck cancer.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, E-Da Hospital/I-Shou University, Kaohsiung County, Taiwan, Republic of China.



This study investigated the risk factors for synchronous esophageal neoplasia in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).


All 315 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed HNSCC received endoscopic esophageal screening with image-enhanced endoscopy.


Sixty-nine patients (21.9%) had synchronous esophageal neoplasia, 37 (53.6%) with superficial neoplasia and 21 (30.4%) with multiple esophageal lesions. Univariate analysis revealed age <50 years, drinking alcohol, and location of index HNSCC were significant risk factors for developing synchronous esophageal neoplasia. In multivariate analysis, drinking alcohol (odds ratio [OR], 3.792; p = .0035), index oropharynxgeal cancers (OR, 3.618; p = .0045) and hypopharyngeal cancers (OR, 2.627; p = .0029) were independent risk factors. Drinking alcohol was clearly dose-response related (p = .001).


Alcohol consumption and index tumor location are associated with the development of synchronous esophageal neoplasia in patients with HNSCC. Because of the high prevalence, routine endoscopic examination of the esophagus should be recommended, especially in patients with the risk factors identified.

© 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2011.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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