Chondroradionecrosis of the larynx: 24-year University of Wisconsin experience

Thomas G. Gessert, Christopher J. Britt, Austin M.W. Maas, Aaron M. Wieland, Paul M. Harari, Gregory K. Hartig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Chondroradionecrosis (CRN) is an uncommon but significant complication of laryngeal radiotherapy that presents a diagnostic challenge to clinicians through its similarity in presentation to cancer recurrence. Methods: Two hundred ninety-four patients underwent primary, adjuvant, or salvage radiation for laryngeal cancer from 1991 to 2015 at the University of Wisconsin. Medical records were reviewed to identify and characterize patients with a diagnosis of CRN. Results: Of the 294 patients, 7 cases (2.4%) of CRN were identified. Development of CRN was associated with the presence of cartilage invasion by tumor (p =.038) and ongoing alcohol use postradiotherapy (p =.036). Additionally, a trend between development of CRN and ongoing smoking postradiotherapy was observed (p =.067). Conclusion: The diagnosis of CRN is challenging, and the likelihood of successful resolution is modest. A high premium should be placed on efforts directed at prevention, such as tobacco and alcohol cessation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1189-1194
Number of pages6
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • chondroradionecrosis
  • larynx
  • radiation
  • radiation injury
  • radionecrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

Cite this

Gessert, T. G., Britt, C. J., Maas, A. M. W., Wieland, A. M., Harari, P. M., & Hartig, G. K. (2017). Chondroradionecrosis of the larynx: 24-year University of Wisconsin experience. Head and Neck, 39(6), 1189-1194.