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Unformatted text preview: Differential Diagnosis of Head and Neck
Swellings and it’s management
Swellings M.D.S Department
College of Dentistry
King Saud University
King Head and Neck Swellings
Head A number of masses may develop in the head and neck,
and these may also be called swellings, growths,
tumors, lumps, and bumps.
tumors, While some head and neck masses are cancerous, many
are However, it is important to investigate if any abnormal
bump or swelling persists for more than two weeks.
more Head and Neck – Complex region Numerous Lymph nodes are located in the Head &
Neck region Salivary glands Thyroid gland, Parathyroid glands, Thymus gland
etc., What Causes Head and Neck Swellings ?
(i) Cysts, thyroid masses, vascular masses, salivary
gland masses e.t.c, can cause swellings in the head
(ii) Enlargement of lymph nodes in the head and neck
can also cause a swelling.
(iii) Inflammatory / Infectious conditions can also cause
lumps of the head and neck region.
(iv) Benign & Malignant masses can cause swelling of the
head and neck. Symptoms Associated with Neck Lumps
Symptoms Lump in the neck persisting for more than two weeks,
especially if it is not associated with a cold, flu, or other
infection. Cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box (larynx),
thyroid, and some lymphomas can appear first as a
painless, growing neck lump.
painless, Symptoms Associated with Head & Neck
Lumps Change in the voice including hoarseness that
persists for more than two weeks
persists Growth in the mouth
Growth Swollen tongue
Blood in the saliva or phlegm
Blood Swallowing problems
Swallowing Diagnosing Head and Neck Masses
Diagnosing Examination of some masses / swelling may allow a
physician to determine their cause based on location,
size, and consistency.
size, In other cases, however, additional tests may be
required. Diagnosing Head and Neck Masses
Diagnosing Changes in the skin – It is important to examine
changes in the skin that could indicate basal cell
carcinoma, squamous cell cancer, and malignant
melanoma. Persistent Ear Pain or ear pain while swallowing may be
a symptom of infection or a growth in the throat.
symptom Radiographic Investigation of the Head and Neck
Masses MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging can clearly
highlight soft tissue pathologies better than the C.T.
Scan. It uses a magnetic field rather than x-rays (radiation). Radiographic Investigation of the Head and Neck
Masses CT SCAN – Computed tomography is less accurate than M.R.I
for the soft tissue examination, but is very useful to locate bony
tumors and their dimensions and extensions.
tumors C.T with contrast is used to enhance the visibility of abnormal
tissue during examination.
tissue Radiographic Investigation of the Head and Neck
PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and SPECT (Single
Photon Emission Tomography) are useful after diagnosis to help
determine the grade of a tumor or to distinguish between
cancerous and dead or scar tissue.
They involve injection with a radioactive tracer.
They Diagnosing Head and Neck Masses
Diagnosing F.N.A.C – Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy is Safe
Inexpensive Presurgical planning
Presurgical Avoids open biopsy
Avoids Head and Neck Swellings
Head (i) Enlargement of lymph nodes
(i) This is the most common cause of new neck swellings.
This Lymph nodes, which are part of the immune system,
can enlarge when the body rallies to fight an infection.
can When the infection recedes, lymph swelling subsides as
well. (ii) Benign Swellings of the Head and Neck
of Benign Swellings / masses do not spread (metastasize)
to surrounding tissue and are not cancerous.
to Nevertheless, benign masses can be serious if they
impact nerves or exert pressure in the head and neck,
and are therefore often removed surgically. These include cysts, thyroid masses, vascular masses,
salivary gland masses, and others.
salivary (ii) Benign Swellings of the Head and Neck
of Congenital/ Developmental Cysts
(i) Thyroglossal cyst
(ii) Branchial cyst
(iii) Sebaceous cyst
(iv) Dermoid cyst
Dermoid Developmental Cyst - ThyroglossalCyst Most common congenital neck mass
Arrested migration of thyroid
50% present before age 20
Midline (75%) or near midline (25%)
Elevates on swallowing/protrusion of tongue
Surgery is the only treatment. Developmental Cyst - Branchial Cyst
Branchial Remnants of incompletely obliterated branchial clefts/pouches
Located anterior & deep to sternomastoid muscle.
M = F ratio
Unilateral, 75%of cases on left side. Developmental Cyst - Branchial Cyst
Branchial Cystic mass anterior to SCM, below mandible May get infected Persistence of 2nd branchial cleft May have small sinus tract into tonsillar fossa Contains cholesterol crystals Surgical Management of the Branchial Cyst
Surgical Developmental Cyst Sebaceous cyst
Sebaceous A sebaceous cyst is a a benign, harmless growth that
occurs under the skin and tends to be smooth to the
touch. Ranging in size, sebaceous cysts are usually found on
the scalp, face, neck and ears. They are formed when the release of sebum, a mediumthick fluid produced by sebaceous glands in the skin, is
blocked. Developmental Cyst Sebaceous cyst
Sebaceous Unless they become infected and painful or large,
sebaceous cysts do not require medical attention or
treatment, and they usually go away on their own.
treatment, If they become infected, the physician may drain the
fluid and cells that make up the cyst wall. Or, if the cyst
causes irritation or cosmetic problems, it may be
removed through a simple excision procedure.
removed Dermoid cyst
A dermoid cyst is a congenital defect (present from birth) that
occurs during embryonic development when the skin layers do
not properly grow together.
A dermoid cyst is lined with epithelium, which contains tissues
and cells normally present in skin layers, including hair follicles,
sebaceous (skin oil), and sweat glands.
These glands and tissues secrete their normal substances which
collect inside the cyst, causing it to grow and enlarge. Ranula Ranula presents as a Cystic swelling in the floor of mouth. It occurs as a mucous extravasation from sublingual salivary
gland.• May extend through the mylohyoid muscles into the neck“Plunging Ranula” Surgical treatment is by removal of the Sublingual gland
associated with the swelling. (iii) Inflammatory Lumps of the Head and
Neck Cervical Adenitis secondary to acute URTI-tonsillitis,
EBV etc- are common and is detected from history. Inflammatory Lumps of the Head and Neck Chronic inflammatory disease like Tuberculosis,
Sarcoidosis, Cat Scratch disease. These disease processes have to be treated medically.
For example, Patients with tuberculous lymphadenitis
should undergo anti-tuberculosis drug therapy. Surgical Management of Infections in the Head
and Neck Region Submandibular Abscesses, Ludwig’s Angina occur secondary to
odontogenic infections and Parotid or submandibular gland
abscesses etc, need to undergo incision and drainage under G.A,
along antibiotic treatment.
along (iv) Neoplastic Masses of the Head and
Neck Neoplastic Masses can be classified into two
types (i.e) benign and malignant masses. Neoplastic Masses of the Head and Neck Benign Head and Neck Masses •Any structure of the head and neck may be involved. Skin, SC Tissue, fat, nerve muscle, blood vessel can be
affected. For example, Lipoma (Fat), Fibroma (Fibrous tissue),
Hemangioma( Blood vessel), Neuroma (Nerve). Benign Head and Neck Masses Benign tumors of the Salivary gland like Pleomorphic
adenoma, Warthins tumour etc., can present with a
significant head and neck swelling. Multinodular goitre, cyst, adenoma can affect the
Thyroid glands. Malignant Masses of the Head and Neck Malignant Masses of the Head and Neck
- Malignant masses can occur anywhere in the upper aero-digestive tract.
- May also arise from skin and soft and hard tissues of
head and neck-SCC, melanoma
- It can occur from the salivary glands, thyroid gland,
parathyroid gland. Malignant Swellings of the Head and Neck
Malignant Head and neck masses are malignant, if they spread to
surrounding tissue. In the head and neck, tumors may be
either primary or secondary.
secondary What are primary tumors?
What Primary tumors originate in the head or neck itself,
including the thyroid, throat, larynx, salivary gland,
brain, or other locations. Primary tumors of the head and neck typically spread to
the lymph nodes in the neck. What are secondary tumors ?
What Secondary cancers are tumors that have spread from
primary tumors in other parts of the body to the head or
neck. Most often, secondary tumors of the neck originate in
the lung, breast, kidney, or from melanomas in the skin.
the Cancers in the nasal and sinus passages may spread to
the brain through nerves in the skull.
the Head and Neck Cancer- Squamous Cell.Carcinoma 6th most common cancer worldwide HNSCC ~ 5% all cancers S.C.C most common upper aero digestive tract malignancy Smoking 50% HNSCC occur in oral cavity Management presents considerable functional and
problems Multidisciplinary approach imperative Treatment of Head and Neck - Squamous Cell
Carcinoma Removal of Primary tumor + cervical
nodes Surgery / Radiation / Chemotherapy Sometimes palliation Cervical neck disease reduces survival by
Lymphomas Lymphomas are malignant cell infiltrations of the lymphatic
system. Once a malignancy begins in one part of the lymph system,
it often spreads throughout the rest of the system before it
is detected. Lymphomas
Lymphomas Lymphomas share similar symptoms such as painless
swelling of the lymph nodes, fever and fatigue. Broadly, they are classified as either non-Hodgkin's and
Hodgkin's Summary Head and Neck lumps are not that uncommon Usually benign in kids Don’t ignore adult neck lump especially when cause not
apparent. History and Examination, radiology, FNA Surgical, Medical, Chemotherapy and radiation
treatment options are available for malignant masses. ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/10/2011 for the course PDBIO 220 taught by Professor Tomco during the Winter '09 term at BYU.
- Winter '09