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Laryngorhinootologie. 1996 Nov;75(11):682-6.

[Endosonography of the pharynx].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Universit├Ąt-HNO-Klinik Marburg.



Endosonography is a diagnostic tool for the examination of tumors of the oral cavity. The pharynx is usually not assessable for conventional endosonography due to problems with the placement of the probe in deeper areas of the pharynx.


A fingertop ultrasonography probe was combined with a stick allowing the user to locate the probe in deeper areas of the pharynx. The stick had two flexible joints and a device for attaching the probe in the front. We evaluated 48 patients with tumors of the posterior wall of the pharynx (n = 6), lateral wall of the pharynx (n = 7), tonsil (n = 17), sinus piriformis (n = 13), and nasopharynx (n = 5) during preoperative tumor endoscopy under general anesthesia. Thirty-two patients suspected of having a tonsillar abscess were examined under local anesthesia.


The evaluation of the tumor dissemination and the determination of the relationship between the tumor and the internal carotid artery was excellent for tumors of the posterior and lateral wall of the pharynx. The investigation of tumors of the sinus piriformis and the nasopharynx was difficult and tumor growth could not be determined normally with endosonography. In four cases, retropharyngeal lymph nodes could be detected. The sensitivity for the diagnosis of tonsillar abscesses was 84%.


Endosonography of the deeper areas of the pharynx seems to be a useful instrument for investigating growth of tumors at the lateral and posterior wall of the pharynx. Endosonographic results might be helpful for deciding between endoscopic and external approaches. Endosonography is not sufficiently sensitive for diagnosing tonsillar abscesses, but might be helpful in clinically difficult cases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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