Ultrasonographic anatomy of the anterior neck: implications for tracheostomy

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1995 Dec;53(12):1420-4. doi: 10.1016/0278-2391(95)90669-x.


Purpose: Tracheostomy is the preferred intervention for surgical establishment of an upper airway in the treatment of certain elective maxillofacial procedures. Complication rates associated with surgical tracheostomy are largely related to the restricted possibilities in diagnosis of anatomic variations. Therefore, endoscopic-guided tracheostomy is increasingly being used to enhance precision and safety. The purpose of this study was to assess the ultrasonographic anatomy of the anterior neck with regard to the performance of tracheostomy.

Patients and methods: Fifty patients underwent ultrasonographic investigation to analyze the relationship of anatomic structures lying in the immediate vicinity of the tracheostomy site.

Results: The data presented demonstrate the feasibility and advantage of preoperative ultrasonography to visualize the structures of the infrahyoid region.

Conclusion: Preoperative ultrasonography may be of great importance in diagnosing individual anatomic variations at the site of tracheostomy and in avoiding complications.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Neck / anatomy & histology
  • Neck / diagnostic imaging*
  • Observer Variation
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Trachea / anatomy & histology
  • Trachea / diagnostic imaging
  • Tracheostomy* / adverse effects
  • Ultrasonography / instrumentation
  • Ultrasonography / methods