ARRS 2022 Abstracts


E1854. Head and Neck Masses in Pediatric Age Group: A Pictorial Review
  1. Ankita Chauhan; Le Bonheur Children's Hospital; University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  2. Preet Sandhu; Le Bonheur Children's Hospital; University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Pediatric head and neck masses are commonly encountered in clinical practice. Clinical history and physical examination findings play a vital role in deciding the imaging modality and reaching a diagnosis. This exhibit will review many of the common and rare masses of the head and neck in children, including congenital, developmental, and acquired disorders.

Educational Goals / Teaching Points
Our exhibit will discuss the congenital and acquired disease conditions involving the head and neck in children. Our exhibit will illustrate the imaging spectrum of the commonly encountered and rare lesions of the head and neck in the pediatric age group. Our discussion will include but is not limited to congenital lesions (such as nasal glioma, encephalocele, dermoid and epidermoid cysts, and benign tumors such as lipoma and pilomatricoma), developmental disorders (brachial cleft cyst), and acquired conditions (such as Langerhans cell histiocytosis [LCH], primary cervical neuroblastoma).

Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques
Palpable head and neck masses are a common indication for pediatric imaging. Radiological assessment of pediatric masses is tailored based on the clinical presentation, physical examination, and clinical suspicion. The goal of imaging is to help arrive at a diagnosis and, if not, to limit differential efficiently. Plain radiographs are helpful, especially in the case of osseous lesions such as hemangioma and LCH. Ultrasound is the initial imaging investigation in most cases because of its easy availability and real-time imaging. Though CT has multiplanar capabilities, MRI provides better soft tissue characterization. Radiologists should be wise in deciding which modality to go for based on multiple factors, including clinical suspicion and the patient’s age.

Clinical history, physical exam, and good communication with pediatric physicians help plan the appropriate imaging workup of pediatric patients presenting with a head and neck mass and related complications. Knowledge of the various imaging appearances of the many encountered head and neck disorders in children helps diagnose them and plan the most appropriate management.