To review the imaging anatomy of the oral cavity in computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging
To identify advantages and disadvantages of each imaging method used to evaluate the oral cavity
To review the imaging aspect of oral cavity cancer in each anatomic subsite
To understand the role of imaging methods in local staging and detection of nodal and distant metastasis,
bone involvement and perineural spread.
Oral cavity cancer is the most frequent cancer in the head and neck region
Main risk factors: tobaco use (chewing,
Physical examination with visual inspection and bimanual palpation are the mainstays of oral cavity cancer diagnosis
This review will demonstrate how imaging methods can contributeto the detection and evaluation of oral cavity cancer.
Findings and procedure details
1 - Imaging anatomy of the oral cavity
The oral cavity is the most ventral portion of the aerodigestive tract.
It is subdivided into:
Floor of the mouth
Oral tongue (anterior two-thirds)
Gingival and buccal mucosa (includes labial and jugal mucosas)
Superiorly: nasal cavities
Inferiorly: mylohyoid muscle (separates floor of mouth from submandibular space)
1.1 - Imaging anatomy: Computed tomography (CT)
1.2 - Imaging anatomy:Magnetic resonance (MR)
2 -Imaging methods
Imaging methods are routinely used in oral cavity cancer,
playing significant roles in the diagnosis and evaluation of these lesions.
Advantages and disadvantages of each method must always be remembered.
Each lesion subsite has their own inherent peculiarities.
The use of imaging greatly benefits the clinical evaluation of local staging,
bone invasion and perineural spread.
Knowledge of when and how to use radiological methods is helpful to the multidisciplinary team dealing with these patients and ultimately improve patient care.
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