Journal of Otology & RhinologyISSN: 2324-8785

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Head and Neck Ultrasound by an Otolaryngologist - The Experience with 4273 Cases Over 8 Years

Head and Neck Ultrasound by an Otolaryngologist - The Experience with 4273 Cases Over 8 Years

Background: Head and neck ultrasound examination has frequently been performed by otolaryngologists in recent years. This article aims to report the experience of an otolaryngologist who has worked on head and neck ultrasound for the past 8 years.

Materials: An ultrasound with a 7-14 MHz linear transducer was operated to perform head and neck ultrasound examinations. The gray-scale technique with the scan set for the thyroid gland was first used to evaluate the morphology of the structures in the entire neck, and the Doppler mode was used if necessary. Fine needle aspiration (FNA) with a free-hand technique under ultrasound guidance was performed if indicated.

Results: Between October 2003 and May 2011, 4273 patients received an ultrasound examination: 1927 (45%) examinations were for the thyroid gland, 1658 (39%) for a non-thyroid or salivarygland neck mass, 388 (9%) for the major salivary gland and 300 (7%) for other indications. Of these patients, 2048 (48%) received FNA for cytology. In the first 5 years, there were only 1361 (31%) patients, in contrast with the 2912 (68%) patients during the last 3 years. Comparing the indications between the first 5 years and the last 3 years, the thyroid gland (47%) was the most common in the last 3 years, and the non-thyroid or salivary gland neck mass (44%) was the most common indication in the first 5 years (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Otolaryngologists are performing more head and neck ultrasound examinations, with more familiarity with the ultrasound equipment and interpretation.

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