Radiological profiles of nasopharyngeal anatomy as seen in computed tomography scans of normal patients undergoing brain scans for other neurological problems in Konkani population

Santhosh Kumar Rajamani, Nayanna Karodpati, Dilesh A. Mogre, Rashmi Prashant


Background: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma arises from interactions between underlying genetic and racial predilection and variety environmental factors. It is locally aggressive and presents with occult cervical nodal metastasis. A thorough understanding of radiological regional anatomy of the nasopharynx in Indians particularly Konkani population is important for early detection of nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

Methods: Routine computed tomography of brain, head and neck for other neurological problems like stroke clearly delineates the loco-regional anatomy of the nasopharynx. Computed tomography (CT) images stored in the computer system were studied to delineate the normal loco-regional anatomy of nasopharynx with special reference to anatomical structure of fossa of Rosenmueller and to find out the normal dimensions of nasopharynx in Konkani population. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is a hidden and cryptic killer with relatively higher incidence among young population. To develop a local screening CT program for earlier detection of this occult malignancy was another purpose of this endeavour.  

Results: Internal carotid artery lies at the depth of around 1 to 1.7 cm from floor of lateral pharyngeal recess (fossa of rosenmuller); this figure has to be borne in mind while doing invasive procedures of nasopharynx like biopsies and adenoidectomy.

Conclusions: Posterior pharyngeal wall thickness of more than 2.4 cm and adenoid mass extending to posterior margin of the medial pterygoid plate is suspicious of malignancy. A screening protocol of CT nasopharynx has been suggested as a fruit of this endeavour.


Multidetector computed tomography, Nasopharynx, Anatomy, Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

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