This study aimed to evaluate the role of 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging in predicting tongue tumour thickness via direct and reconstructed measures, and their correlations with corresponding histological measures, nodal metastasis and extracapsular spread.
A prospective study was conducted of 25 patients with histologically proven squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue and pre-operative 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging from 2009 to 2012.
Correlations between 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging and histological measures of tongue tumour thickness were assessed using the Pearson correlation coefficient: r values were 0.84 (p < 0.0001) and 0.81 (p < 0.0001) for direct and reconstructed measurements, respectively. For magnetic resonance imaging, direct measures of tumour thickness (mean ± standard deviation, 18.2 ± 7.3 mm) did not significantly differ from the reconstructed measures (mean ± standard deviation, 17.9 ± 7.2 mm; r = 0.879). Moreover, 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging had 83 per cent sensitivity, 82 per cent specificity, 82 per cent accuracy and a 90 per cent negative predictive value for detecting cervical lymph node metastasis.
In this cohort, 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging measures of tumour thickness correlated highly with the corresponding histological measures. Further, 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging was an effective method of detecting malignant adenopathy with extracapsular spread.