Prevalence of Sclerotic Pterygoid Plate in Pretreatment Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.

2 Department of Radiology, Institute of medicine Suranaree University of Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.


Objectives: The objective of our study was to determine the prevalence of sclerotic pterygoid plate in pretreatment CT of nasopharyngeal carcinoma compared with the control group. Materials and Methods: A total of 51 nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients (37 men, 14 women) with a mean age of 51.94±13 years, and 51 controls (30 men, 21 women) with a mean age, 49.31±15 years were included in this study in a retrospective fashion. All computed tomographic (CT) images were evaluated by two neuroradiologists. Sclerosis of pterygoid plate and other findings included pterygoid plate erosion, adjacent tumor enhancement, and parapharyngeal extension which were assessed. MRI findings were also recorded. The prevalence of pterygoid plate sclerosis was compared using Chi-square statistical tests. Imaging findings were analyzed by binary logistic regression analyses. Results: The prevalence of pterygoid plate sclerosis in nasopharyngeal carcinoma was 53.9% compared to the control group (16.7%) and the difference was statistically significant (P-value< 0.001). In nasopharyngeal carcinoma, the prevalence of tumor adjacent to the pterygoid plate, parapharyngeal extension and pterygoid plate erosion were 69.6%, 81.4%, 38.2%, respectively. No erosion of pterygoid plate was detected in the control group. The odds of adjacent tumor enhancement and pterygoid plate erosion was 7.29 and 20.56 times higher in the sclerotic pterygoid plate (p-values of 0.019 and 0.000, respectively). MRI was available for four nasopharyngeal carcinoma cases with five sclerotic pterygoid plates, where two showed enhancements. All non-sclerotic pterygoid plates showed no enhancement on MRI. Conclusion: The prevalence of sclerotic pterygoid plate is significantly higher in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma with a considerably higher chance of adjacent tumor enhancement and pterygoid plate erosion. 


Main Subjects

Volume 23, Issue 4
April 2022
Pages 1193-1197
  • Receive Date: 06 May 2021
  • Revise Date: 01 November 2021
  • Accept Date: 26 April 2022
  • First Publish Date: 26 April 2022