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Radiographics. 1997 Mar-Apr;17(2):391-402.

CT and MR imaging of head and neck tuberculosis.

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Department of Radiology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea.


Tuberculosis of the head and neck can involve the cervical lymph nodes, larynx, temporal bone, sinonasal cavity, eye, pharynx, thyroid gland, and skull base. Although computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging can accurately demonstrate the sites, pattern, and extent of the disease, both modalities have limitations in the evaluation of head and neck tuberculosis. Imaging and clinical features of head and neck tuberculosis are often varied and nonspecific and frequently mistaken for those of carcinoma. However, tuberculous lymphadenitis is often characterized by areas of low attenuation or low signal intensity with rim enhancement or calcification, and laryngeal tuberculosis usually manifests as a diffuse bilateral lesion with or without a focal mass. A thorough knowledge of head and neck tuberculosis is important because early diagnosis and therapy may prevent a permanent loss of function or needless surgery.

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