Neck SwellingsBMJ 2014; 348 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g1078 (Published 23 January 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:bmj.g1078
- Nick Roland1,
- Patrick J. Bradley2
- 1University Hospital Aintree, Liverpool, UK
- 2Queen's Medical Centre Campus Nottingham University Hospitals Nottingham, UK
Copyrighted Material, used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons Limited. For personal use only, must not be reproduced or shared with third parties. Anyone wishing to reproduce this content in whole or in part, in print or in electronic format, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Browse the ABC series at www.wiley.com
Neck swellings are common findings that present in all age groups from many causes, ranging from congenital to acquired, from cysts, inflammatory, infective to neoplastic disease, encompassing any neck structures
In the community, the inflammatory lymph node is most common, whereas in hospital thyroid swelling or goitre is most frequently seen
It behoves all clinicians to understand the embryology and anatomy to aid with making the correct diagnosis thus allowing for appropriate management
There are more than 100 lymph nodes in each neck, and other organs or glands are singular!
Knowledge of patient's age, associated symptoms and anatomical location of the lump, is key to proceeding to treatment in General Practice, or is an indication for referral for further investigations, including imaging and surgery
Neck lumps in adults (over 40 years) should be considered malignant or at least have malignancy excluded by examination of the mucosal surfaces of the head and neck region, and a needle sample of lump be examined by a pathologist
Neck swellings are commonly encountered and present at all ages. The differential diagnosis of a neck mass is extensive. In the community inflammatory lymph nodes are most common, while in the hospital environment the thyroid swelling or goiter is most frequently seen. It therefore behoves all clinicians to understand the embryology and anatomy to aid with making the correct diagnosis and following an appropriate management algorithm.
Anatomy of the Normal Neck
The old surgical aphorism,
consider the anatomical structures and then the pathology that can arise from these
is never more …
Log in using your username and password
Log in through your institution
Register for a free trial to thebmj.com to receive unlimited access to all content on thebmj.com for 14 days.
Sign up for a free trial