What is this bump in my neck? Ultrasonographic evaluation of pediatric neck masses

Ghazal Shadmani, Steven Don

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Neck masses are common in pediatric patients, with benign etiologies such as congenital or inflammatory lesions accounting most of these masses. Anatomic location (most important), clinical history, and the appearance in ultrasonography (US) are helpful clues to narrow down differential diagnosis. Because of widespread availability, lack of ionizing radiation, and no need for sedation or contrast administration, US is the preferred initial modality for the evaluation. Further evaluation with cross-sectional imagings is needed for more extensive lesions with trans-spatial extension or suspicion of intrathoracic or retropharyngeal extension. This review will focus on US appearance and clinical presentation of masses of the neck in children, to enable radiologist to arrive at a reasonable differential diagnosis. We also briefly discuss more complex pathologies that need to be evaluated with cross-sectional modalities such as CT scan and magnetic resonance imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)919-930
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Ultrasound
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • pediatric neck masses
  • thyroid nodules
  • ultrasonography


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