Qualitative and Quantitative Diagnosis in Head and Neck Cancer

Fernando López, Antti Mäkitie, Remco de Bree, Alessandro Franchi, Pim de Graaf, Juan C Hernández-Prera, Primoz Strojan, Nina Zidar, Margareta Strojan Fležar, Juan P Rodrigo, Alessandra Rinaldo, Barbara A Centeno, Alfio Ferlito

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The diagnosis is the art of determining the nature of a disease, and an accurate diagnosis is the true cornerstone on which rational treatment should be built. Within the workflow in the management of head and neck tumours, there are different types of diagnosis. The purpose of this work is to point out the differences and the aims of the different types of diagnoses and to highlight their importance in the management of patients with head and neck tumours. Qualitative diagnosis is performed by a pathologist and is essential in determining the management and can provide guidance on prognosis. The evolution of immunohistochemistry and molecular biology techniques has made it possible to obtain more precise diagnoses and to identify prognostic markers and precision factors. Quantitative diagnosis is made by the radiologist and consists of identifying a mass lesion and the estimation of the tumour volume and extent using imaging techniques, such as CT, MRI, and PET. The distinction between the two types of diagnosis is clear, as the methodology is different. The accurate establishment of both diagnoses plays an essential role in treatment planning. Getting the right diagnosis is a key aspect of health care, and it provides an explanation of a patient's health problem and informs subsequent decision. Deep learning and radiomics approaches hold promise for improving diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1526
JournalDiagnostics (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Head and neck
  • Qualitative diagnosis
  • Quantitative diagnosis

Cite this