The purpose of the study was to preoperatively investigate small laryngeal carcinomas using multi-slice spiral CT (MSCT) and subsequent multiplanar reconstructions (MPR) and to compare the results to the detailed spread found at surgery and histology. Nine patients with small (T1, T2) laryngeal cancer were investigated on a MSCT scanner (Siemens plus 4 Volume Zoom, Siemens). A 4x1 mm collimation, 120 kV, 200 mAs and a 0.5 seconds rotation time were used, allowing a coverage of the entire larynx in approximately 10 seconds within a single breathhold. Multiplanar reconstruction's (MPR) in sagittal and coronal plane were reconstructed in all patients and rated in consensus reading. In 8 of nine patients, the glottic spread was detected by MSCT, in one cause of a supraglottic tumor a glottic invasion was excluded. The infiltration of the anterior commissure, the infiltration into the subglottic space and the extension into the hypopharynx was correctly assessed in all patients. MSCT was not able to predict infiltration of the arythnoids in two patients. The use of multi- slice spiral CT for the preoperative assessment of small laryngeal tumors shows great promise. The detection or exclusion of subtle spread of these tumors into the supra- or subglottic space and along the glottic level was possible with high accuracy. As the examination time is short, artifacts are rare and multiplanar reconstructions gain in clinical importance.