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Ultrasound Q. 2007 Mar;23(1):47-54.

Ultrasonography of abnormal neck lymph nodes.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA 94305-5105, USA.


Ultrasonography is a useful imaging modality for assessing cervical lymphadenopathy in patients with head and neck carcinomas. Features of cervical lymph nodes using gray-scale and color and power Doppler ultrasonography can help to distinguish normal and reactive lymph nodes from potentially metastatic lymph nodes. The distinguishing features that separate abnormal from normal cervical lymph nodes include peripheral vascularity, shape, overall lymph node echogenicity, absence of hilus, presence of nodal microcalcifications, and cystic changes. Often, a combination of these features is needed to assign a cervical lymph node as being abnormal.

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