Patients with bulky laryngopharyngeal masses and a relative or absolute contraindication to general anesthesia present diagnostic difficulties. In the current study, the authors assessed the utility of transcutaneous ultrasound-guided Tru-Cut biopsy (USGTCB) under local anesthesia in such individuals.
The current report was a prospective, nonrandomized study. Patients meeting the inclusion criteria underwent USGTCB as outpatients.
Ten patients were recruited, 4 of whom had an untreated mass obstructing the laryngeal lumen and 6 of whom were previously treated for laryngeal cancer. All tolerated the procedure well. The only adverse event noted was spontaneously resolving near‒syncope in 1 patient. In 9 patients the biopsy was diagnostic: invasive squamous cell carcinoma in 7 patients and chondronecrosis in 2 patients. In the remaining patient, radiologically suspected cricoid chondrosarcoma was confirmed based on the surgical specimen.
The results of this pilot study are encouraging. USGTCB of laryngopharyngeal masses was found to produce no local morbidity, was diagnostic in each of the 5 patients with suspected disease recurrence after radiotherapy, was feasible in the outpatient setting, and had high sensitivity and specificity. The procedure is particularly useful for patients contraindicated for general anesthesia or those with a risk of tracheotomy due to intubation difficulties. Cancer 2007. © 2007 American Cancer Society.