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. Jan-Feb 2016;36(1):226-43.
doi: 10.1148/rg.2016150087.

US-guided Biopsy of Neck Lesions: The Head and Neck Neuroradiologist's Perspective


US-guided Biopsy of Neck Lesions: The Head and Neck Neuroradiologist's Perspective

Kim O Learned et al. Radiographics. .


Ultrasonographically (US) guided percutaneous biopsy of a neck lesion is a cost-effective, safe, and diagnostically effective procedure without radiation exposure. The benefit of real-time visualization of the needle location allows for instantaneous maneuvering of the needle trajectory for safe and accurate tissue sampling with short procedural time. Effective US-guided biopsy requires technical experience, strong clinical acumen, and skillful biopsy technique. A neuroradiologist's knowledge of head and neck anatomy and pathology allows correlation with cross-sectional imaging and enhances the understanding of US imaging evaluation. Familiarity with a spectrum of neck surgeries and reconstructions and expertise in imaging evaluation of the treated neck are invaluable in accurate identification of the target for biopsy in patients with treatment-related altered anatomy using US guidance. After thyroid nodules, the common adult neck masses are lymphadenopathy, head and neck cancer, salivary neoplasms, nerve sheath tumors, and inflammatory and infectious pseudomasses. Diagnostic expertise in the imaging characteristics of these individual pathologic conditions and their differential diagnoses also play an important role in choosing the biopsy technique and in procuring an adequate sample for diagnosis, including material for ancillary laboratory testing. Using an anatomic zone approach, this article illustrates the practical considerations in patient selection, the methodical analysis of preprocedure cross-sectional imaging and its correlation with real-time US evaluation, general principles for optimizing US instrumentation, and biopsy technique. In skillful hands, the versatility and portability of US make it the valuable modality for histologic sampling of superficial head and neck lesions. Online supplemental material is available for this article.

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