The Child With a Neck Mass

Bernadette L. Koch, MD


Appl Radiol. 2005;34(8):8-22. 

In This Article


Evaluation of neck masses is a common indication for imaging children. Fortunately, most lesions are either congenital or inflammatory in origin, and only 5% of all childhood neoplasms occur in the head and neck. The primary goal of imaging is to determine the extent of the disease and suggest a differential diagnosis based on the location and imaging characteristics. A reasonable differential diagnosis can usually be made based on location (midline or lateral), clinical history (congenital or acquired, presence or absence of fever and tenderness), and imaging characteristics (cystic versus solid). The remainder of this manuscript will focus on the more common cystic and solid masses that occur in the pediatric neck.


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