High-resolution neck ultrasound plays a vital role in the evaluation and management of patients after total thyroidectomy for thyroid cancer. This technique is increasingly used by endocrinologists and head and neck surgeons to detect potential locoregional recurrences or metastases and map malignant lymph nodes before reoperation. It is also invaluable as guidance for fine-needle aspiration of suspicious lesions.
Thorough knowledge of the compartments of the neck and meticulous scanning technique are essential for success.
The purpose of this article is to review the common pattern of recurrences of differentiated thyroid cancer, describe our scanning protocol, and depict the characteristics of benign, indeterminate, and suspicious lesions in the postthyroidectomy neck.
Associate Professor (Sheth), Professor of Radiology (Hamper), The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
Received for publication May 14, 2008; accepted June 22, 2008.
The authors have disclosed that they have no interests in or significant relationships with any commercial companies pertaining to this educational activity.
All staff in a position to control the content of this CME activity have disclosed that they have no financial relationships with, or financial interests in, any commercial companies pertaining to this educational activity.
Lippincott CME Institute, Inc. has identified and resolved all faculty and staff conflicts of interest regarding this educational activity.
Reprints: Sheila Sheth, MD, The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, 600 N Wolfe St, Baltimore, MD 21287 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).