Introduction: To compare the projectional surface anatomy of healthy individuals in an adult population with those with a thyroid mass, using computed tomography (CT).
Methods: Sixteen slice CT images of 101 individuals were analyzed using a 32-bit Radiant DICOM viewer to establish the relationships among major anatomical landmarks in the neck and their vertebral levels. The structures investigated included: hard palate (HP), hyoid bone (HB) including body and lesser horns, soft palate (SP), thyroid gland (TG) (both superior and inferior poles), thyroid gland anteroposterior (APD) and superoinferior (SID) diameters, thyroid isthmus (TI) superoinferior dimension, epiglottis, vertebral arteries (right and left), and both right and left parotid glands (superior and inferior extents).
Results: The vertebral levels noted most frequently were: body of hyoid bone (C4, 42.71%); lesser horns of hyoid bone (C3, 36.46%); thyroid gland superior pole (C6, 31.25%); and thyroid gland inferior pole (T2, 30.2%). TG-ID, TG-APD, and TG-SID were not significantly different between males and females in the healthy group; however, there was a significant gender difference in thyroid gland inferior diameter in the pathology group (males 2.16(±1.16) vs. females 3.37(±1.30), p=0.01, paired sample t-test).
Conclusion: Further studies are needed to determine whether neck pathology in those with a thyroid mass affects the dimensions of the thyroid gland. Moreover, the surface anatomy of the neck should be revisited using modern imaging techniques to address inconsistencies in anatomy and clinical reference texts.
- Cross-sectional anatomy
- Neck surface anatomy
- Ethnic group
- CT scans