Neck Ultrasounds

Neck ultrasound

Any lump, swelling or discomfort in the front of the neck is included in this structured scan. Please note that muscle pain at the back of the neck is usually caused by problems with posture and the cervical spine. Contact your doctor to confirm whether an alternative test such as x-ray or MRI is indicated instead.

Ultrasound is by far the most sensitive modality to assess the thyroid gland identifying worrying lumps (nodules) at a very early stage and guiding need for biopsy (fine needle aspiration - FNA). Conditions such as thyroiditis (causing fast or slow thyroid function) and thyroid goitre (abnormal enlargement of the gland) are also identified.

Salivary glands
The parotid and submandibular glands are the largest salivary glands in the neck. Problems such as infection, blocked ducts, stones and tumours can be identified with ultrasound.

Cervical lymphadenopathy
Abnormal enlargement of the neck lymph nodes is best assessed with ultrasound. This can help differentiate between “reactive” enlargement (due to nearby inflammation) or “suspicious” enlargement (requiring biopsy to look for lymphoma or tumour).

Cysts and masses in the neck
Most commonly congenital in nature, but often identified later in life, they include thyroglossal cysts and branchial cysts. Musculoskeletal lumps occurring in the neck, such as lipomas, sebaceous cysts etc, are also included in this scan.