Esophageal carcinoma is an uncommon malignancy accounting for approximately 7% of gastrointestinal tract cancers and 1% of all cancers. Esophageal cancer stilt remains one of the most lethal of all cancers. Since a multimodality approach is presently used to treat esophageal cancer, early radiologic diagnosis and accurate tumor staging are essential to direct therapy toward cure or palliation. This article presents a review of radiologic diagnosis and staging of esophageal cancer. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.