|ECR 2018 / C-3084|
|Non-cystic pediatric neck masses besides nodes|
Neck masses are a common finding and when they are non-nodal, it can be a challenge to the radiologist. The most common cause of a solid lesion is an enlarged lymph node but masses may have a congenital, inflammatory, neoplastic or vascular origin (Table 1). Many are asymptomatic and detected on physical examination whereas others cause significant mass effect, compromise of the aerodigestive tract or symptons.
Clinical history and physical examination are important clues but knowledge of the anatomy and embryology is essential to the diagnosis. The modalities avaliable includes gray-scale and Doppler ultrasound, CT, MRI and angiography. In some cases, characteristic imaging appearance can be diagnostic. Otherwise imaging is helpful in narrowing the differential diagnosis, defining lesion extent, assessment for metastatic disease and in follow-up evaluation for treatment response or recurrence.