Evaluation of neck masses in children

Am Fam Physician. 1995 Jun;51(8):1904-12.


Neck masses in children may be inflammatory, neoplastic or congenital. Although most of these masses are benign inflammatory nodes, an asymptomatic neck mass is the most common presentation of head and neck malignancies in children. Cystic lesions are usually pharyngeal cleft remnants or vascular malformations, whereas solid lesions are generally inflammatory or neoplastic. While the history and the physical examination are the most important parts of the evaluation of neck masses in children, biopsy may be necessary to establish the diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Branchioma / diagnosis
  • Child
  • Dermoid Cyst / congenital
  • Dermoid Cyst / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Granulomatous Disease, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Hemangioma / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / diagnosis
  • Lymphangioma / diagnosis
  • Lymphatic Diseases / diagnosis
  • Lymphoma / diagnosis
  • Neuroblastoma / diagnosis
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / diagnosis
  • Thyroglossal Cyst / congenital
  • Thyroglossal Cyst / diagnosis
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / diagnosis