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Pathology Research International
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 607820, 8 pages
Research Article

Imaging of the Head and Neck following Radiation Treatment

Section of Neuroradiology, Department of Radiology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA

Received 16 December 2010; Accepted 12 March 2011

Academic Editor: S. Pervez

Copyright © 2011 J. Matthew Debnam. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck occurs in approximately 40,000 patients annually in the United States and is often treated with radiation therapy. Radiological studies are obtained following treatment for head and neck malignancies to assess for recurrent tumor, posttreatment changes, and associated complications. Radiation treatment creates a difficult clinical picture for oncologists, head and neck surgeons, neuroradiologists, and neuropathologists. As post-treatment imaging studies are often discussed at radiology/pathology working conferences, knowledge of the imaging appearance of radiation-associated changes in the head and neck and the terminology used by neuroradiologists may not only aid in interpretation of the pathologic specimen, but also assist in communications with neuroradiologists and referring clinicians.