Sonography of peripheral nerve tumors of the neck

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1997 Dec;169(6):1695-8. doi: 10.2214/ajr.169.6.9393192.


Objective: Peripheral nerve tumors (PNTs) of the neck are uncommon and are frequently mistaken for lymph nodes. The purpose of this study is to describe the sonographic appearance of PNTs in the neck and determine features useful in differentiating PNTs from lymph nodes.

Conclusion: PNTs of the neck have features that should alert the sonographer to the correct diagnosis. Features of value in differentiating PNTs from lymph nodes include a solitary, oval, hypoechoic mass with posterior enhancement and absence of an echogenic hilum. These features should lead to a careful search for the associated nerve to confirm the diagnosis. In addition, schwannomas have a vascular pattern indicating marked hypervascularity that can be obliterated with light pressure from the probe.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurilemmoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neurofibroma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color