|ECR 2018 / C-3156|
|Imaging neck masses in children - a pictorial review with focus on ultrasound|
Neck swelling in children represents a very frequent cause for presentation in pediatric units. They may be congenital and acquired, inflammatory or tumoral, benign or malignant and they can arise from any neck structures such as the common lymph-nodes, the salivary glands, thyroid, thymus, muscles, vascular structures and bones.
With these pathological and anatomical heterogeneity it may truly be a challenge to reach a diagnosis and decide on the proper treatment and therefore imaging is often required.
The first line of imaging is obviously represented by US since it is widely available, it is accepted by children and parents and in many cases it is sufficient for diagnosis, thus avoiding other more invasive procedures.
Magnetic resonance (MR) is required in the case of larger lesions in order to demonstrate their extent and the involvement of the deep structures of the neck.
Computed tomography (CT) is sometimes performed in emergency when there are large neck abscesses, but it should be avoided whenever possible in children.