Clinical implications of nonspecific pulmonary nodules identified during the initial evaluation of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

We aimed to identify the clinical implications of nonspecific pulmonary nodules (NPNs) detected in the initial staging workup for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

Medical records of patients who had been diagnosed and treated in our hospital were retrospectively analysed. After definite treatment, changes of NPNs detected on initial evaluation were monitored via serial chest computed tomography. The associations between NPNs and the clinicopathological characteristics of primary HNSCC were evaluated. Survival analyses were performed according to the presence of NPNs.

The study consisted of 158 (49.4%) patients without NPNs and 162 (50.6%) patients with NPNs. The cumulative incidence of probabilities of pulmonary malignancy (PM) development at 2 years after treatment were 9.0% and 6.2% in NPN-negative and NPN-positive patients, respectively. Overall and PM-free survival rates were not significantly different according to NPN status. Cervical lymph node (LN) involvement and a platelet-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) ≥126 increased the risk of PMs (both P <0.05).

NPNs detected in the initial evaluation of patients with HNSCC did not predict the risk of pulmonary malignancies. Cervical LN involvement and PLR ≥126 may be independent prognostic factors affecting PM-free survival regardless of NPN status.

• We aimed to identify the clinical implications of nonspecific pulmonary nodules (NPNs). • NPNs in head and neck cancer patients do not lead to pulmonary malignancies (PMs). • NPNs are not associated with overall or PM-free survival (PMFS). • Cervical lymph node involvement is an independent prognostic factor affecting PMFS. • Platelet-lymphocyte ratio ≥126 is another predictor of PMFS regardless of NPN presence.

European radiology. 2017 Feb 06 [Epub ahead of print]

Minsu Kwon, Sang Hoon Lee, Yoon Se Lee, Choong Wook Lee, Jong-Lyel Roh, Seung-Ho Choi, Soon Yuhl Nam, Sang Yoon Kim

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Eulji Medical Center, Eulji University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea., Department of Otolaryngology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul, 05505, Republic of Korea., Department of Otolaryngology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul, 05505, Republic of Korea. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.., Department of Radiology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.