Causes of cervical lymphadenopathy

What are some causes of cervical lymphadenopathy?

Cervical lymphadenopathy is common in patients with metastatic head and neck cancer or lymphoma and is also commonly found in patients with upper respiratory infections and systemic diseases. Although computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are also used to evaluate cervical lymph nodes, the internal architecture of small lymph nodes and the presence of subtle findings such as small calcifications and peripheral vascularity are better assessed by US. US is also commonly used to guide FNA of abnormal-appearing nodes.

Imaging Features Associated with Malignant Cervical Lymphadenopathy

  • • Round shape
  • • Loss of the echogenic hilum
  • • Eccentric cortical hypertrophy
  • • Cystic change
  • • Calcification
  • • Peripheral vascularity
  • • Reticular pattern (suggestive of lymphoma)

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