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Radiology. 1986 Oct;161(1):69-75.

Tongue and oropharynx: findings on MR imaging.


Ten healthy subjects and 44 patients with diseases of the tongue or oropharynx were studied with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Axial, coronal, and sagittal images with a thickness of 4 mm were obtained with a pixel size of 0.75 X 0.75 mm on a 256 matrix. Nineteen of the patients underwent computed tomography (CT). Nine of those patients later had surgery, and the specimens were obtained for organ sectioning. These three studies as well as clinical history and physical examination findings were correlated. MR imaging was equal to or better than CT in those patients having both examinations. However, neither CT nor MR allowed recognition of histologic features or detection of microscopic spread of disease. Direct coronal and sagittal imaging planes on MR imaging allowed visualization of intrinsic tongue musculature, not possible with CT; this was important in recognizing subtle tumor extension. For these reasons, MR is the imaging method of choice for studying diseases of the tongue and oropharynx.

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