Barium examination of the pharynx after vertical hemilaryngectomy

Academic Article


  • Vertical hemilaryngectomy (VHL) is an effective treatment for localized true-vocal-cord carcinoma. Single- and double-contrast barium pharyngoesophagrams in 13 post-VHL patients (11 with dysphagia or suspected tumor recurrence, and two asymptomatic volunteers) were reviewed retrospectively. The two asymptomatic volunteers illustrated the normal postoperative appearance, demonstrating an unaltered pharynx, with no barium aspiration. Barium aspiration into the laryngeal vestibule or trachea was seen in 10 cases and was the only abnormal radiographic finding in four such patients. Three instances of tumor recurrence were identified. In two such cases, aspirated barium revealed a narrowed, irregular lumen of the residual laryngeal vestibule with a mass protruding into the subglottic part of the airway. The third example of recurrent malignancy was manifested by a tracheoesophageal fistula. Findings on the barium examination mimicked recurrent tumor in four cases. In one instance, a mound of granulation tissue protruding into the subglottic aiway was confused with tumor recurrence. In three cases, the radiographs demonstrated apparent narrowing and mucosal irregularity of the residual laryngeal vestibule. This appearance was due to early postoperative edema or to transient deformity of the pliable residual hemilarynx during deglutition, as shown by videotaped fluoroscopy.
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    Author List

  • DiSantis DJ; Balfe DM; Koehler RE; Lee JK; Weyman PJ; Setzen M; Ogura JH
  • Start Page

  • 335
  • End Page

  • 339
  • Volume

  • 141
  • Issue

  • 2