Cross sectional imaging features of esophageal malignancy

What are the cross sectional imaging features of esophageal malignancy?

Esophageal malignancy typically appears as either focal or segmental esophageal wall thickening or as a focal homogeneous or heterogeneous soft tissue enhancing mass of the esophagus, often with associated luminal narrowing.

Direct spread of tumor into the surrounding mediastinal structures (e.g., mediastinal fat, tracheobronchial tree, lungs, thoracic aorta, thyroid gland, or diaphragm) may occur, as manifested by a loss of intervening fat planes; by displacement, indentation, or encasement of adjacent structures by soft tissue tumor; or by fistula formation. In more advanced stages of disease, regional lymphadenopathy, distant metastatic disease (most commonly involving the lungs, liver, osseous structures, and adrenal glands), or direct spread to the peritoneal cavity may be encountered.


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