Glass cervical soft tissue foreign bodies

Case contributed by Ashesh Ishwarlal Ranchod
Diagnosis certain


The patient presents with left cervical and medial left supraclavicular pain and tenderness.

Patient Data

Age: 20 years
Gender: Male

Focal soft tissue ultrasound confirms a linear foreign body at the level of the left thyroid gland and anterior to the left internal jugular vein. There are no regional complications otherwise.

The foreign body measures 9.1 mm in width and 21.5 mm craniocaudally.

X-rays confirmed the radiopaque, triangular foreign body identified on the ultrasound, paravertebral at C7/T1 vertebral level, just above the medial left clavicle.

There are additional multiple radiopaque foreign bodies infrahyoid, left of the midline.

Case Discussion

The patient presented for a workup for unexplainable left cervical pain and tenderness, especially on movement and rotation. He initially did not volunteer any history of previous trauma.

Ultrasound is an excellent imaging tool to localize foreign bodies and especially glass. Surprisingly, this instance revealed multiple foreign bodies embedded within the left-sided cervical soft tissues.

The glass fragments typically appear hyperechoic with posterior acoustic shadowing and typical reverberation artefact as shown above.

On further questioning, the patient confirmed a history of previous penetrating trauma, specifically, he was stabbed many years prior with a broken glass bottle. He did not volunteer any further details.

X-rays and ultrasound confirmed multiple residual glass fragments embedded within the left anterior cervical soft tissues.

Case courtesy of Dr D.H.Jogi

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