Between March 1985 and March 1988 109 patients with tumours of the oral cavity and the oropharyngeal region underwent 123 examinations by orthopantomography and realtime sonography for primary staging and/or diagnosis of a recurrent disease. In 105 cases the preoperative results could be compared to intraoperative and histopathological findings. Realtime sonography as a noninvasive, inexpensive and efficient method offered the ideal diagnostic adjunct to the orthopantomogram. Not only size, shape and structure of the soft tissue tumour could be accurately defined; whatsmore it was possible to demonstrate its relation to bony structures and to a high degree of sensitivity cortical invasion and periosteal reaction. The limitations of the method especially the risk of false positive findings after invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures are pointed out.
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