Normal size of benign upper neck nodes on MRI: parotid, submandibular, occipital, facial, retroauricular and level IIb nodal groups

Qi Yong H. Ai, Tiffany Y. So, Kuo Feng Hung, Ann D. King

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Nodal size is an important imaging criterion for differentiating benign from malignant nodes in the head and neck cancer staging. This study evaluated the size of normal nodes in less well-documented nodal groups in the upper head and neck on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Methods: Analysis was performed on 289 upper head and neck MRIs of patients without head and neck cancer. The short axial diameters (SAD) of the largest node in the parotid, submandibular, occipital, facial, retroauricular and Level IIb of the upper internal jugular nodal groups were documented and compared to the commonly used threshold of ≥ 10 mm for diagnosis of a malignant node. Results: Normal nodes in the parotid, occipital, retroauricular and Level IIb groups were small with a mean SAD ranging from 3.8 to 4.4 mm, nodes in the submandibular group were larger with a mean SAD of 5.5 mm and facial nodes were not identified. A size ≥ 10 mm was found in 0.8% of submandibular nodes. Less than 10% of the other nodal group had a SAD of ≥ 6 mm and none of them had a SAD ≥ 8 mm. Conclusion: To identify malignant neck nodes in these groups there is scope to reduce the size threshold of ≥ 10 mm to improve sensitivity without substantial loss of specificity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number66
JournalCancer Imaging
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Benign and reactive
  • head and neck
  • Lymph nodes
  • MRI
  • Normal nodal size

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Normal size of benign upper neck nodes on MRI: parotid, submandibular, occipital, facial, retroauricular and level IIb nodal groups'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this