Since the rst application of ultrasound in the examination of the head and neck in the second half of the last century, technical advances in this dynamic imaging modality have led to a greater understanding of the anatomy and pathology in this area.
Digital imaging processing and state-of-the-art transducer technology now yield an image quality with submillimeter resolution, which enables even the smallest tissue changes to be seen and which, for certain indications, is superior to that of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). New procedures, such as tissue harmonic imaging, compound imaging, elastography, panoramic views, and contrast-enhanced ultrasound, together with color Doppler scanning, combined in one system, provide information not only on the appearance of an organ but also on its function and activity.
CT and MRI are claimed to give a comprehensive picture of the head and neck. However, the disadvantages of these methods, in comparison with ultrasound, are obvious: an imaging technique that is not universally and immediately available causes delay in the diagnostic and therapeutic management. Furthermore, it is essential to have all the necessary information available in order to interpret the ndings; that is to say, the clinical history, laboratory ndings, clinical ndings on examination, and the results of the endoscopy. It is principally the treating physicians who are in possession of all this information and who are also in a position to perform the ultrasound scans themselves, thus enabling them to assess the ndings in the overall context.
The more extensive and complicated the technical possibilities, the more dicult it is to adjust system parameters and interpret the data obtained. A thorough grounding in the technical basics, anatomical landmarks, and typical constellations of the ndings is indispensable.
For this reason, ultrasonography is a method that depends greatly on the examiner; one of our aims in producing the atlas is to counteract this frequently voiced criticism. The fact is, however, that ultrasound is no less, but equally no more dependent on the examiner than are CT and MRI. Experience comes only with practice. We have therefore tried to provide a practical manual that is as relevant as possible for routine application.
During their more than 20 years’ experience, the authors have provided continuing professional education and ultrasound courses to try to overcome the problems and stumbling blocks that continue to beset the use of this fascinating method of examination.
This atlas is intended not only to give beginners a systematic introduction to the basics of head and neck ultrasonography but also to provide more experienced users with the opportunity of gaining further in-depth knowledge. We have chosen the layout especially to give rapid access to everyday problems. The comprehensive text in Section 1 on ultrasound basics should also provide a step-by-step introduction to the individual topics. To provide an overall picture of the ultrasound appearance of the head and neck, we have also included more complicated interdisciplinary topics, such as the thyroid gland and blood vessels. As far as possible, we have used images from the latest ultrasound systems, so that the ndings demonstrated are of optimal quality. In addition to static images on the pages of the book, we can also present the material as video clips so that readers can check their understanding of the material. Thus the web-based part of the atlas oers the reader further access to typical ndings. These video clips allow one to identify anatomy, allow pathology to be seen even more clearly, and illustrate the particular advantages of ultrasonography as a dynamic procedure.
Thanks to its noninvasive nature and high informational value, we consider ultrasound to be an indispensable component in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the head and neck. And this is conrmed by more than 3500 examinations performed every year in our department at our clinic.
Download = Atlas of Head and Neck Ultrasound (1st 2013).pdf