Etiopathological study of pediatric neck masses in a rural population

Mudassar A. Shariff


Background: Neck mass in pediatric age group is a common clinical condition encountered by an ENT Specialist. Detailed clinical examination and knowledge of the common neck masses in children, which differ from those in adults is vital in early diagnosis and treatment. Diagnostic modalities such as Ultrasonography, Computerised Tomography, Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) and histopathological examination aids in the diagnosis of superficial neck masses. The majority of neck masses in the pediatric population are congenital or inflammatory in origin and some are neoplastic. This study was conducted to establish the various causes of neck masses and the site of origin of neck masses in pediatric patients attending ENT OPD.

Methods: 50 patients in the age group of 1 month to 18 years presenting with neck masses to the ENT OPD of Vinayaka Mission’s Medical College and Hospital, Karaikal were included in the study. This was a prospective study conducted for a period of 2 years. All the cases underwent FNAC. Biopsy and histopathological examination was done in cases where the cytological diagnosis was inconclusive.  

Results: Of the 50 cases clinically evaluated, 24 were lymph node swellings, 7 were thyroid swellings, 8 were salivary gland swellings, 10 were congenital neck swellings, with 1 swelling being due to other cause.

Conclusions: Inflammatory swelling arising from the Lymph nodes were the commonest cause of neck swelling in pediatric patients. Neck swellings were located most commonly in the Submandibular triangle in the study.


Pediatric neck masses, Cervical Lymphadenopathy, Congenital neck masses, Neck swellings, Reactive non-suppurative cervical lymphadenitis

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