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J Clin Ultrasound. 2000 Jul-Aug;28(6):311-3.

Sonographic appearance of a retained surgical sponge in the neck.

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  • 1Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Hospital ClĂ­nic de Barcelona, Spain.


We report the sonographic appearance and clinical course of a retained surgical sponge in the neck beginning 6 months after a partial thyroidectomy. Sonograms showed a subcutaneous curvilinear hyperechoic interface with marked acoustic shadowing obscuring the left side of the neck. Three months later, a fistulous tract could be seen. Surgical exploration revealed a florid foreign tissue reaction due to a retained surgical sponge. Early diagnosis of retained sponges is important to enable expeditious removal before complications develop.

Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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