What are the advantages of ultrasonography for thoracic non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) imaging?

Updated: Mar 05, 2019
  • Author: Ali Nawaz Khan, MBBS, FRCS, FRCP, FRCR; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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Mediastinal US is an effective and inexpensive imaging method, with a higher sensitivity than that of conventional radiographs for the detection of mediastinal tumors. US is quick, accurate, noninvasive, and universally available, and it involves no ionizing radiation. The diagnostic advantage of mediastinal US over chest radiography results from its ability to demonstrate deep, central mediastinal lymph nodes long before a displacement of pleuromediastinal lines occurs.

Mediastinal US is only marginally inferior to CT scanning in the detection of supra-aortic, pericardial, and prevascular lesions (sensitivity, 98-100%), but certain compartments (eg, the posterior mediastinum and the paravertebral region) can be evaluated only with CT scanning or MRI. In addition to the assessment of size and topographic characteristics of mediastinal masses, US precisely shows the internal structure of the tumor, which may suggest a specific diagnosis when considered along with the tumor's clinical presentation and location.

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