The Role of In-Office Ultrasound in the Diagnosis of Neck Masses

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Abstract

To evaluate the efficacy of otolaryngologist-performed in-office ultrasound (US) in the clinical assessment of lateral neck masses, we performed a retrospective review of patients with lateral neck masses who had both a surgeon-performed US and US-guided fine-needle aspiration (USGFNA) at our tertiary academic center from 2012 to 2015. Fifty-nine patients were included. USGFNA results included 32 (54%) malignant lesions, 23 (39%) benign lesions, and 4 (6%) nondiagnostic lesions. USGFNA demonstrated 85% accuracy. In 22 (37%) patients, in-office US revealed additional findings that were not identified on physical examination (eg, nonpalpable lymph nodes or elucidated anatomical structures), which either assisted in surgical planning or altered treatment. In-office US and USGFNA on initial evaluation by the otolaryngologist augment physical examination and have potential value as the primary imaging and diagnostic modality in the workup of lateral neck masses.

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