Conventional ultrasound for lymph node evaluation, update 2013

Z Gastroenterol. 2014 Feb;52(2):212-21. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1356153. Epub 2014 Feb 13.


Conventional ultrasound is regarded as the first method of choice to evaluate lymph node disease due to its high resolution. The combination of various features obtained from the patients history including age, acute or chronic onset, symptoms, and a knowledge of underlying systemic diseases as well as imaging criteria, most importantly B-mode (gray-scale) and colour Doppler imaging (CDI) are the basis for the differential diagnosis of lymphadenopathy. New ultrasound techniques such as elastography and contrast-enhanced ultrasound may provide further information. In addition, ultrasound evaluation of lymph nodes is an essential adjunct to the clinical investigation in staging of malignant neoplasia and lymphoma. In this paper the current literature is reviewed regarding conventional B-mode and Doppler ultrasound for the evaluation of lymphadenopathy. The ultrasound criteria for the differential diagnosis of enlarged and structurally altered lymph nodes are summarized and also limitations are described.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphatic Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography / methods*