MRI of throat and larynx: what shows?


In the cervical region there is the naso — and hypopharynx, larynx, initial division of the trachea, esophagus, thyroid gland, lymph nodes, major blood vessels and nerves – all this is well visualized in the MRI of the throat and larynx. Most pathological processes in these organs, inflammatory or neoplastic cause mechanical compression and narrowing of the lumen of the larynx and/or esophagus and cause similar non-specific symptoms: difficulty swallowing and breathing, sometimes hoarseness. This is related to difficulties in diagnosis of pathological changes in the cervical region.

MRI is harmless rainwatery research method, giving accurate and complete information concerning the condition of the soft tissues, lymph nodes and vessels of the neck, cartilage of the larynx, the vocal cords and mucosa of the pharynx and initial segments of the esophagus, to detect tumors. MRI with intravenous contrast will show that it detected a cyst, benign or malignant tumor.

  • change the configuration neck: asymmetry, the appearance of asymptomatic swelling of soft tissues.

What are the diseases of the organs of the neck diagnosed through an MRI?

  • traumatic injuries of the cervical region and their consequences (scar deformation);
  • the presence of free metal foreign bodies;
  • inflammatory diseases and tumors of the thyroid cartilage of the larynx, vocal cords;
  • inflammation of the lymph nodes, abscesses and phlegmon of the soft tissues of the cervical region;
  • congenital cysts of the soft tissues and other malformations of the neck, including a cyst of Torvald;
  • benign and malignant neoplasms of organs of the neck, and metastases from other areas.
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Diagnosis of tumors of the neck, a cyst of Thornwald

To confirm or exclude the presence of neoplasms in the cervical region with maximum accuracy by means of magnetic resonance. It is possible to determine the nature and localization of tumors: cysts, benign or malignant tumor in this case would need a study with contrast. With the help of MRI can not only detect, but also to exclude the presence of tumor.

High resolution MRI can detect tumors of a small size. With the help of this study can not only detect, but also to exclude the presence of tumors.

Common diagnostic finding in the MRI of Thornwald cyst, congenital cyst of the nasopharynx, the remainder of embryonic and chords is a recess on the back of the throat that are difficult to detect during routine inspection. Cyst of Thornwald can remain latent throughout a person’s life, but in those cases, if mucous membranes it becomes infected and inflamed patients concerned about persistent headaches, bad breath, recurrent mucus or pus from the nasal passages or as a result of expectoration. The rhinoscopy, the study of the paranasal sinuses remain unchanged, pulmonary pathology was also not detected. MRI of the neck can detect a cyst of Torvald and save the patient from these painful symptoms

Is it always better MRI other methods of research?

For the diagnosis of diseases of the soft tissues and organs of the neck is used and other instrumental methods: ultrasound, endoscopy, including biopsy, and computed tomography. MRI stands out by the fact that this study:

  • harmless: research has not revealed negative influence of magnetic fields on the human body;
  • non-invasive, does not involve the violation of the integrity of tissues, and therefore painless;
  • most informative: gives you a clear view of all structures of the cervical spine, if necessary, with the increase and subsequent 3D image reconstruction;
  • subject to the application of contrast allows not only to identify the lesion but to distinguish benign from malignant tumors.
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However, in some cases, the capabilities of MRI in diagnosis is limited:

  • the isolated study of the thyroid gland, if on the basis of laboratory tests and previous studies have found that symptoms associated with the pathology of this organ. The thyroid gland is located superficially and therefore is not visualized by ultrasound, non-invasive and harmless, but not so expensive;
  • if you suspect the presence of intraosseous entities preferable to carry out a CT scan or MRI supplementing x-ray method of research. Using nuclear magnetic resonance could accurately examine the structure of soft tissues, but poor in water, the bone tissue is difficult to visualize.

MRI is harmless to the human body, therefore research can be done multiple times, which is important for follow-up or assessment of results of treatment.

MRI of the pharynx and larynx: the preparation and contraindications

Special preparation for MRI of neck not required, comply with the General rules. Choose clothing containing no metal contamination and do not use decorative cosmetics. If the assigned study with contrast, for 6 hours prior to the event to refrain from eating.

MRI not be performed in patients with pacemakers and metal implants and in cases of suspected metallic foreign bodies, as this may cause additional injury. During pregnancy do not appoint a study with contrast injection in the first trimester, the study is not carried out. With claustrophobia MRI can be done in the office with an open circuit.