Board Review 3 – Case 19

Neuroradiology board review. This lecture is geared towards the ABR core exam for residents, but it would be useful for review for the ABR certifying exam or certificate of added qualification (CAQ) exam for neuroradiology.

More description and the answer (spoiler!) are seen below the video.

This case shows a CT of the neck with a centrally necrotic mass in the left deep soft tissues, most likely associated with necrotic lymphadenopathy. CT images of the upper chest show tree-in-bud nodules within the upper lungs which are suspicious for infection.

The diagnosis is: mycobacterial lymphadenitis

Mycobacterial infection in the neck is most often manifested by multiple abnormal lymph nodes, often with a necrotic core. The degree of adjacent soft tissue swelling and edema is less than is typically seen with a purulent adenitis such as staphylococcus. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the most common although there are a number of others which can cause infection, such as m. avium and m. kansasii (as in this case). The lung images are a nice clue here that the patient has a systemic infection.

Biopsy may be required to exclude malignancy, as a top differential is squamous cell carcinoma of the neck. Treatment is anti-mycobacterial drugs.

Arterial dissection is associated with a variety of conditions, including trauma, fibromuscular dysplasia, vasculitis, and connective tissue disorders.