1. Patient history 2. Physical examination 3. Differential diagnosis 4. Imaging studies 5. Blood test
The most important element in the evaluation of a neck mass is….
Most pediatric neck masses are inflammatory or congenital and resolve spontaneously or after appropriate medical therapy. In contrast, a neck mass in an adult over the age of 40 should be considered neoplastic in origin unless proven otherwise, particularly in the setting of tobacco or alcohol use.
duration, growth pattern, and absence or presence of pain. change in voice, hoarseness, difficulty with swallowing, ear pain generalized complaints: fever, night sweats, and weight loss. patient's social history: alcohol and drug use, smoking, and recent travel.
systematic investigation of all mucosal and submucosal areas of the head and neck. mobility, consistency, and tenderness of the mass. location of the neck mass is particularly important › Children: different branchial cyst › adult patients: virchov metastasis
bordered by anterior border of SCM, midline of neck, and mandible › muscular triangle formed by midline, superior belly of omohyoid, and SCM › carotid triangle formed by superior belly of omohyoid, SCM, and posterior belly of digastric › submental triangle formed by anterior belly of digastric, hyoid, and midline › submandibular triangle formed by mandible, posterior belly of digastric, and anterior belly of digastric
bordered by posterior border of SCM, trapezius, and clavicle › supraclavicular triangle formed by inferior belly of omohyoid, clavicle, and SCM › occipital triangle - formed by inferior belly of omohyoid, trapezius, and SCM
The structures that make up the anterior neck include the larynx, trachea, esophagus, thyroid and parathyroid glands, carotid sheath, and suprahyoid and infrahyoid strap muscles.
Contains: lymph node, the spinal accessory nerve, the cervical plexus. the brachial plexus subclavian vessels.
1. Congenital neck mass 2. Inflammatory Neck mass: › Infectious › Non infectious 3. Neoplastic Disorder
failure of the pharyngobranchial ducts to obliterate during fetal development. most frequently present in late childhood or early adulthood when the cysts become infected usually after an upper respiratory tract infection. tender, inflammatory mass located at the anterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle.
three categories: first, less than 1% second, the most common and third branchial cleft anomalies.
1. initial control of the infection 2. surgical excision of the cyst and tract. incision and drainage procedures should be avoided
one-third of all congenital neck masses. midline masses of the anterior neck. may be asymptomatic and appear only when they become infected. Thyroglossal duct cysts that occur off the midline may be difficult to differentiate from branchial cleft cysts. pathognomonic sign on physical examination is vertical motion of the mass with swallowing and tongue protrusion, demonstrating the intimate relation to the hyoid bone.
excised with a cuff of tissue, including the center portion of the hyoid bone. care is taken not to injure the hypoglossal nerves ; thyroid carcinomas can be present in a small percentage of thyroglossal duct cysts
abnormal dilation or herniation of the saccule of the larynx. Laryngopyocele is a Secondary infection of a laryngocele. present with hoarseness, cough, dyspnea, dysphagia, a foreign body sensation. Dx: Laryngoscopy, CT. If symptomatic, Tx: › laryngoscopic decompression for small lesions, › surgical excision through an external approach for larger lesions,
mucoceles of the floor of mouth usually present as slow-growing, painless, submental masses. arise from the sublingual gland and are defined as plunging when they extend through the mylohyoid muscle into the neck. Tx: excision.
congenital malformations of the lymphatic channels. They arise owing to failure of the lymph spaces to connect to the remaining lymphatic system. The mass is usually soft, doughy, smooth, nontender, and compressible. can be transilluminated. CT scanning and MRI are important studies both to delineate the extent of the disease Tx: Surgical Debulking because of the infiltrative nature
malformations of vascular tissue. usually present in the first few months of life, grow rapidly during the first year, and then begin to slowly involute at 18–24 months of age. In 90% involution occurs without the need for any therapy. present as a red or bluish soft mass that is compressible and increases in size with straining or crying. Bruits may sometimes be auscultated over the lesion. Dx: CT scans, MRI. In the following symptoms: airway compromise, skin ulceration, dysphagia, thrombocytopenia, cardiac failure Systemic corticosteroids or surgical laser excision may be warranted in such cases.
approximately 3.5% of all teratomas. Their origin is from pluripotential cells, contain elements from all three germ layers. Usually present as midline, nontender, mobile neck masses and are most commonly noted at birth or within the first year of life. There is a 20% associated incidence of maternal polyhydramnios. can cause respiratory compromise or dysphagia secondary to compression. Dx: CT, MRI. Tx: Surgical excision.
The third branchial pouch gives rise to the thymus during the 6th week of fetal life, elongates in the pharynx, and then descends into the mediastinum. Thymic cysts arise when there is implantation of this thymic tissue along this descent. present as slow-growing, asymptomatic masses that may be painful if infected. On rare occasions, they grow rapidly and cause dyspnea or dysphagia. CT scanning and MRI are useful in the differential diagnosis. definitive diagnosis is made histologically by the presence of Hassall corpuscles. Tx: surgical excision.
characterized histologically by dense fibrous tissue and the absence of normal striated muscle. intimately related to congenital torticollis. typically present as firm, painless, discrete masses within the sternocleidomastoid muscle; slowly increase in size for 2–3 months and then regress for 4–8 months. 80% resolve spontaneously and do not need any intervention other than physical therapy to prevent restrictive torticollis. Surgical resection is reserved for persistent cases.
the most common cause of cervical adenopathy in children. usually associated with symptoms of an underlying upper respiratory tract infection. The most common viral agents include adenovirus, rhinovirus, and enterovirus. tend to regress in 1–2 weeks.
Usually observation a neck mass larger than 1 cm should be considered abnormal and warrant further investigation if it remains for more than 4–6 weeks or increases in size. If persists, biopsies can be taken to search for other causes.
EBV can also present with lymphadenopathy usually accompanied by the enlargement of other lymphoid tissues such as the adenoids or tonsils. symptoms of fever and pharyngitis. 4–6 weeks. Tx: limited to supportive management.
Cervical Adenopathy or Persistent Generalized Lymphadenopathy present in 12–45% of patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). other infectious or neoplastic etiologies must be ruled out Tx: HIV Tx
most frequently caused by Staphylococcus aureus and group A B-Streptococcus. usually develop in the submandibular region often accompanied by sore throat, skin lesions, and upper respiratory tract infection. Empirical antibiotic therapy against anaerobic and gram-positive organisms is recommended as the first line of management. If this fails, either FNA or incision and drainage may be indicated.
caused by Toxoplasma gondii contracted through the consumption of poorly cooked meat or the ingestion of oocytes excreted in cat feces. present with fever, malaise, sore throat, and myalgias. Dx: serologic testing. Tx: ABx ex: sulfonamides (resprim).
caused by Francisella tularensis transmitted by rabbits, ticks, or contaminated water. present with tonsillitis and painful adenopathy with systemic symptoms of fever, chills, headache, and fatigue. Dx: Serology and Bc. Tx: Streptomycin is the antibiotic of choice.
Cause by Brucella. most commonly transmitted to children by the ingestion of unpasteurized milk. present with total body lymphadenopathy, fever, fatigue, and malaise. Dx: Serology and BC. Tx: Abx : trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole or tetracycline
Bartonella henselae. history of contact with cats can be elicited in 90% of cases. more commonly seen in patients younger than 20 years. tender lymphadenopathy, fever, and malaise. lymphadenopathy typically preauricular and submandibular. Dx: serologic testing. generally benign and self-limited.
gram-positive bacillus. 50% to 96% of cases of actinomycosis affect the head and neck regions. painless, fluctuant, neck mass in the submandibular regions. DX: histologically by the presence of granulomas with sulfur granules. TX: Penicillin
typically presents in the pediatric population unilateral neck mass located in the anterior triangle of the neck or parotid region. brawny skin, induration, and pain. Dx: culture and skin testing. Tx: Surgical excision offers definitive treatment, although incision and curettage along with antibiotic therapy constitute an alternative management strategy.
more commonly in adults than in children. Mycobacterium Tuberculosis The presenting lymphadenopathy tends to be more diffuse and bilateral in contrast to atypical mycobacteria. Tuberculin skin tests are strongly positive. Cervical tuberculosis is also known as scrofula Tx: antituberculous medications.
presents most commonly in the second decade of life lymph node enlargement, fatigue, and weight loss. Chest radiography shows hilar adenopathy. An elevated angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) level is seen in 60–90% of patients with sarcoidosis. Dx : histologically by the presence of noncaseating granulomas. TX: Corticosteroids.
Immunocompromised patients. Most common organisms Candida, Histoplasma, and Aspergillus. Dx: Serology and fungal cultures. Tx: Aggressive, systemic antifungal therapy with agents such as amphotericinB
typically presents in children with massive nontender cervical lymphadenopathy, fever, and skin nodules. characterized by benign, self-limited lymphadenopathy. Biopsy shows classically dilated sinuses, plasma cells, and the proliferation of histiocytes.
acute multisystem vasculitis in children. present with: › acute, nonpurulent cervical lymphadenopathy; › erythema, edema, and desquamation of the hands and feet; › polymorphous exanthem; › conjunctival injection; and erythema of the lips and oral cavity. Dx: made by clinical judgment. Early identification and treatment with aspirin and globulin are imperative in avoiding serious cardiac complications.
a rare, benign lymphoepithelial disease potential development of Kaposi sarcoma and lymphoma. This disease affects both sexes equally and can occur at any age. This disease occurs most commonly in thoracic lymph nodes (70%). Dx: tissue biopsy. Tx : Isolated - surgical resection with excellent prognosis. Multicentric - chemotherapy
tend to present as asymptomatic lesions that progress slowly firm to palpation. The associated symptoms are related to the primary site: odynophagia, dysphagia, dysphonia, otalgia, and weight loss. The most common metastatic lesion to the neck is squamous cell carcinoma. Dx: FNA biopsy. More reccurence with excisionnal Bx CT and MRI, may be helpful in the search for the primary tumor.
If the initial examination and imaging fail, a direct endoscopic examination. Knowing the location of the node assists in guiding the surgeon to suspicious areas. › posterior triangle: nasopharyngeal lesion, › jugulodigastric nodes: tonsils, base of tongue, or supraglottic larynx. › supraclavicular area: digestive tract, tracheobronchial tree, breast, genitourinary tract, and thyroid gland.
A primary thyroid tumor manifests in the anterior compartment of the neck. A thyroid mass in a patient with hoarseness and a history of neck irradiation should be considered malignant. Dx: Ultrasound, thyroid scans, and thyroid function tests. Dx: FNA. The treatment is based on histologic findings.
can occur in all age groups but more common in children and young adults. In Hodgkin disease, up to 80% will have at least one neck mass. presents with fever, chills, and diffuse lymphadenopathy. Dx: FNA suggestive for lymphoma. Open biopsy may be necessary to obtain sufficient tissue for histopathologic classification. Staging workup t hat includes CT scanning of the head, neck, chest, and abdomen.
Most parotid lesions are found to be benign. Submandibular gland tumors have an increased incidence of malignant pathology. Benign salivary lesions typically present as asymptomatic masses. Symptoms such as pain, cranial nerve involvement, rapid growth, or overlying skin involvement are highly suggestive of malignant growths. Dx: CT scanning, MRI, nuclear scans, and sialography. FNA is the diagnostic test of choice. Tx: surgery
arise from extra-adrenal paraganglia. Carotid body tumors and glomus tumors are paragangliomas that present as neck masses in the upper jugulodigastric region in close proximity to the carotid bifurcation. They are pulsatile, and bruits can usually be heard on auscultation. are mobile from side to side but not up and down. 10% have a family history, 10% present with multiple paragangliomas, 10% of all paragangliomas are malignant. Dx : The gold standard was angiography in the past, but today MRA. Tx: Surgical excision, Radiation for non resectable case, preoperative embolization may aid in the surgical resection.
most frequently in patients over 35 years of age. can occur in various neck locations. Asymptomatic Dx: CT, MRI. Tx: surgical excision if symptomatic. DD: Liposarcoma : similar imaging appearance but more progressive and locally infiltrative course. Biopsy can be considered in such cases.
spindle cell neoplasms of mesenchymal origin. Most solitary fibrous tumors are located in the thorax. An estimated 5–20% of thoracic solitary fibrous tumors have been reported as malignant, but malignant extrathoracic tumors are rare. In the head and neck, the oral cavity is the most common site, but there have been case reports involving all head and neck sites. present as asymptomatic slow-growing masses. Tx: local resection.
CT MRI. › differentiate solid, cystic, and vascular masses; › localize a mass in relation to the vital structures of the neck; › identify a potential head and neck source for the neck mass Ultrasonography › distinguishing solid from cystic masses Chest X-rays › if there is a high index of suspicion for granulomatous diseases such as sarcoidosis or tuberculosis.A chest film is also able to detect a metastasis from a head and neck cancer or a primary malignant neoplasm within the lungs. Positron emission tomography
looking for systemic diseases: antinuclear antibody in Sjogren syndrome, which can present with parotid enlargement and lymphadenopathy. tuberculosis, atypical mycobacteria, mononucleosis, toxoplasmosis, cat-scratch disease.
use of a 23- or 25- gauge needle. can differentiate a cystic mass from an inflammatory mass, malignant tissue from benign tissue, lymphoma from carcinoma. PCR for EBV, HPV in suspicious Scc.