The application of ultrasound criteria for malignancy in differentiating tuberculous cervical adenitis from metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Clin Radiol. 1995 Jun;50(6):391-5. doi: 10.1016/s0009-9260(05)83136-8.


Tuberculous adenitis and metastatic nodes from Nasopharyngeal carcinoma may have a similar clinical presentation. Clinical examination and laboratory tests alone are unable to differentiate the two. However, ultrasound is a useful initial investigation in differentiating these two conditions. We present ultrasound appearances in 33 patients with proven tuberculous cervical adenitis and 32 patients with proven metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The ultrasound features we found useful were the distribution of the nodes, cystic change, matting and surrounding soft tissue oedema. The size, shape and internal architecture of the nodes, previously described criteria in differentiating benign from malignant nodes, did not help.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Humans
  • Lymphadenitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphadenitis / microbiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms*
  • Tuberculosis, Lymph Node / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography