Differential diagnosis of a neck mass
- Kevin Emerick, MD
Kevin Emerick, MD
- Assistant Professor in the Department of Otology and Laryngology
- Harvard Medical School
The differential diagnosis of a mass in the neck is broad, extensive, and includes both serious and benign etiologies. Accurate diagnosis of a neck mass is critical.
It is helpful to consider the differential diagnosis in three broad categories:
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- ANATOMY OF THE NECK AND LYMPH NODE DRAINAGE
- CONGENITAL NECK MASS
- Branchial cleft cyst
- Thyroglossal duct cyst
- Vascular anomalies
- Dermoid cyst
- Thymic cyst
- INFLAMMATORY NECK MASS
- Infectious inflammatory disorders
- - Reactive viral lymphadenopathy
- - Bacterial lymphadenopathy
- - Parasitic lymphadenopathy
- Noninfectious inflammatory disorders
- NEOPLASTIC DISORDERS
- Metastatic head and neck carcinoma
- Thyroid masses
- Salivary gland neoplasm
- Lipoma and benign skin cysts
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS