Abscesses are focal confined collections of suppurative inflammatory material and can be thought of as having three components 1:
a central core comprised of necrotic inflammatory cells and local tissue
peripheral halo of viable neutrophils
surrounded by a 'capsule' with dilated blood vessels...
The parietal and occipital bones in particular are common regions for accessory sutures because of their multiple ossification centres.
The occipital bone has complex development, ossifying from six centres. The foramen magnum is surrounded by four ossification centres. On each side are the exo...
Accessory parotid glands are a normal variant and represent ectopic salivary tissue present away and separate from the main parotid gland 1.
Accessory parotid glands are not rare and are seen in ~20% of the general population 2.
Located on the masseter muscle, ante...
Achondroplasia is the most common cause of short-limb dwarfism. (For a general discussion, see the generic article on achondroplasia.)
As the skull base forms by endochondral ossification whereas the skull vault by membranous ossification, there is a marked discrepancy in relative size as the s...
Acinic cell carcinomas of the salivary glands are rare malignant neoplasms that account for 1-3% of all salivary gland tumours.
Pathology may superficially resemble normal serous (acinar) cells of the salivary glands. It is considered a low-grade, indolent malignancy, but with a ten...
Acoustic schwannomas (also known as vestibular schwannomas) are relatively common tumours that arise from the vestibulocochlear nerve (CN VIII) and represent ~80% of cerebellopontine angle masses. Bilateral acoustic schwannomas are strongly suggestive of neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2).
Acquired cholesteatomas make up 98% of all middle ear cholesteatomas and are almost always closely related to the tympanic membrane, from which most are thought to arise.
The vast majority of acquired cholesteatomas develop as a result of chronic middle ear infection and...
ACR TI-RADS is a reporting system for thyroid nodules on ultrasound proposed by the American College of Radiology (ACR) 1.
This uses a standardised scoring system for reports providing users with recommendations for when to use fine needle aspiration (FNA) or ultrasound follow-up of suspicious ...
Acrocephalopolysyndactyly (ACPS) syndrome is comprised of a rare group of disorders collectively characterised by:
calvarial anomalies: e.g. craniosynostoses
digital anomalies: syndactyly and polydactyly
While there can be some overlap in features, they can be primarily classified into the fo...
Acrocephalosyndactyly syndromes (ACS) is a rare group of disorders collectively characterised by:
calvarial anomalies, e.g. craniosynostoses
digital anomalies, e.g. syndactyly
While there can be some overlap in features, they can be primarily classified into the following majo...
Acute invasive fungal sinusitis is the most aggressive form of fungal sinusitis. It is seen particularly in immunocompromised patients and is the source of significant morbidity and mortality. It should be distinguished from the other two forms of invasive fungal sinusitis, chronic invasive fung...
Acute mastoiditis is largely a disease of childhood and occurs when acute otitis media extends into the mastoid air cells.
When mastoiditis and acute otitis media occur concurrently, sometimes the term acute otomastoiditis is used.
When mucoperiosteal involvement evolves into bo...
Acute otitis externa (AOE), also known as "swimmer's ear", is inflammation of the external auditory canal (EAC) that can involve the pinna as well. Bacterial infection, most commonly with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, is responsible for the overwhelming majority of cases. It is a common condition.
Acute sinusitis is an acute inflammation of the nasal and paranasal sinus mucosa that last less than four weeks and can occur in any of the paranasal sinuses.
Fever, headache, postnasal discharge of thick sputum, nasal congestion and abnormal smell.
Adenoid cystic carcinomas are a rare histological subtype of adenocarcinoma.
Adenoid cystic carcinomas are generally considered low grade 4. The tumours have a notable tendency for perineural spread.
They have a wide distribution and mainly occur in relation to the airways...
Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of the lacrimal glands is an extraconal malignancy usually originating from the orbital lobe of the lacrimal gland.
It often presents with orbital pain and paresthesia, since this type of tumour is frequently associated with perineural sprea...
Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of the salivary glands is the most common malignancy involving the minor salivary glands and the second most common malignancy involving the parotid gland.
Adenoid cystic carcinomas arise more commonly in the minor salivary glands (~55%) than in the maj...
Adenoid facies, also known as the long face syndrome, refers to the long, open-mouthed face of children with adenoid hypertrophy. Hypertrophy of the nasopharyngeal pad of lymphoid tissues (adenoids) is the most common cause of nasal obstruction in children. The mouth is always open because upper...
Adenoidal hypertrophy or enlargement is common in childhood and is due to an increase in the size of the adenoids.
nasal congestion: adenoid facies
chronic or recurrent otitis media due to their proximity to the Eustachian tubes
Adenolipoma of the thyroid gland (also known as a thyrolipoma or a thyroid hamartoma) is a rare, benign fat-containing thyroid lesion. These lesions are usually well encapsulated and are composed of varying degrees of follicular thyroid tissue (thyroid adenoma) and mature adipose tissue; the amo...
Adenomatoid odontogenic tumours are rare and differ from most other dentition related lesions in that they more frequently occur in the maxilla.
They are also seen more frequently in females, most frequently in the second decade of life.
They present as an ...
Adrenal vein sampling (AVS) is a procedure where blood is collected from the adrenal veins via catheter to confirm autonomous hormone production, if it is unilateral or bilateral, and to guide further treatment.
AVS is commonly performed in primary aldosteronism, being indicated to ...
Cervical lymphadenopathy in an adult can result from a vast number of conditions. They include:
from head and neck tumours
other neoplastic lesions
Agger nasi air cells are the most anterior ethmoidal air cells lying anterolateral and inferior to the frontoethmoidal recess and anterior and above the attachment of the middle turbinate. They are located within the lacrimal bone and therefore have as lateral relations the orbit, the lacrimal s...
Allergic fungal sinusitis (AFS) is the most common form of fungal sinusitis, and is common in warm and humid climates. On imaging, it usually presents as opacification and expansion of multiple paranasal sinuses, unilaterally or bilaterally, with content that is centrally hyperdense on CT. MRI s...
Allgrove syndrome (also known as triple A syndrome) is an autosomal recessive condition that consists of three main findings:
Alport syndrome is an X-linked recessive disease characterised by:
sensory neural hearing loss: typically high frequency 2
anterior lenticonus: most common ocular abnormality; may result in cataracts
perimacular pigmentary changes
flecks around the fovea 2...
Amaurosis fugax is the transient mono-ocular loss of vision, normally lasting a few seconds to a few minutes, and is secondary to vascular ischaemia/insufficiency. Usually the cause is ascribed to occlusion of the central retinal artery there are a wide number of local and central causes.
Ameloblastic fibro-odontoma (AFO) is a rare benign mixed odontogenic tumour that usually arises in the maxilla and mandible. According to the 2005 WHO classification of odontogenic tumours, it is defined as a benign tumour that resembles ameloblastic fibroma but contains enamel and dentin.
Ameloblastomas are locally aggressive benign tumours that arise from the mandible, or, less commonly, from the maxilla. Usually present as a slowly but continuously growing hard painless lesion near the angle of the mandible in the 3rd to 5th decades of life, which can be severely disfiguring if...
Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is a highly aggressive form of thyroid cancer and accounts for ~1-2% of primary thyroid malignancies. Of all the subtypes, this carries the worst prognosis.
Typically occurs in the elderly (peak incidence in 6th to 7th decades). A significant pro...
The anatomy curriculum is one of our curriculum articles and aims to be a collection of articles that represent the core anatomy knowledge.
Head and neck anatomy
Abdominal and pelvic anatomy
Lower limb anatomy
Upper limb anato...
The ansa cervicalis is a component of the cervical plexus which gives muscular branches to the geniohyoid muscle of the suprahyoid group and all 4 of the infrahyoid muscles.
superior root: derived from the anterior primary rami of C1
inferior root: derived from the anter...
The anterior cervical space is a small infrahyoid compartment of the head and neck. It is a fat containing space and is not enclosed by fascia 1.
posterior: carotid space
medial: visceral space
superior: submandibular space
Anterior cord syndrome (also known as Beck's syndrome or anterior spinal artery syndrome) is a clinical subset of spinal cord injury syndromes, due to ischaemia/infarction of the anterior two-thirds of the spinal cord, typically sparing posterior third.
Patient present wi...
The anterior cranial fossa constitutes the floor of cranial vault which houses the frontal lobes of the brain.
Structures present in the midline of anterior cranial fossa from anterior to posterior are:
groove for superior sagittal sinus
groove for anterior meningeal vessels
The anterior division of the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve has four branches, which are all motor branches except one. The four branches are:
deep temporal nerves
lateral pterygoid nerves
The anterior ethmoidal artery is a branch of the ophthalmic artery. It supplies the anterior and middle ethmoidal sinuses, frontal sinus, the lateral nasal wall and the nasal septum (see nasal cavity).
It traverses the anterior ethmoidal foramen with the anterior ethmoidal nerve (which ...
The anterior ethmoidal nerve is an extraconal branch of the nasociliary nerve, a branch of ophthalmic division of the trigeminal nerve. Some authors describe it as either the terminal branch or a direct continuation of the nasociliary nerve. It branches off distal to the infratrochlear nerve an...
The anterior jugular vein is a paired tributary of the external jugular vein.
It arises beneath the chin in the region of the hyoid bone or suprahyoid neck.
Origin and course
The anterior jugular vein has its origin as the confluence of several small superficial subma...
The anterior lacrimal crest is a bony projection on the frontal process of the maxilla continuous with the orbital rim which creates the lateral margin of the lacrimal sac fossa. The medial palpebral ligament is attached to anterior lacrimal crest.
Immediately anterior to the anterior lacrimal ...
The anterior superior alveolar canal courses through the anterior wall of the maxillary sinus, and contains the anterior superior alveolar nerve, artery and vein. Usually, it shares a common channel with the infraorbital canal but when seen separately should not be confused for a fracture.
The anterior superior alveolar nerve, also known as the anterior superior dental nerve, is the third branch of the infra-orbital nerve, from the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve. It is the largest of the superior alveolar nerves and contributes to the superior dental plexus.
The anterior triangle forms the anterior compartment of the neck and is separated from the posterior triangle by the sternocleidomastoid muscle. The triangles of the neck are surgically focussed, first described from early dissection-based anatomical studies which predated cross-sectional anatom...
Antrochoanal polyps (ACP) are solitary sinonasal polyps that arise within the maxillary sinus. They pass through and enlarge the sinus ostium and posterior nasal cavity to the nasopharynx.
Similar polyps can arise in the sphenoid sinus extending into the nasopharynx: these are termed sphenoch...
An antrolith is a calcified mass within the maxillary sinus. The origin of the nidus of calcification may be extrinsic (foreign body in sinus) or intrinsic (stagnant mucus, fungal ball).
Most antroliths are small and asympotomatic. Larger ones may present as sinusitis with symptoms like pain a...
Arrested pneumatisation of the skull base is an anatomical variant that most commonly occurs in association with the sphenoid sinus. It is known that the sphenoid bones undergo early fatty marrow conversion antecedent to normal pneumatisation. However, for unclear reasons, some individuals exper...
The arteries of the head and neck are branches of the common carotid and and subclavian arteries.
common carotid artery
internal carotid artery (segments)
persistent stapedial artery
The aryepiglottic folds are two ligamentomuscular structures within the supraglottic larynx that function to protect the airway when swallowing.
Each aryepiglottic fold is comprised of the superior ligamentous edge of the quadrangular membrane and covering mucous membrane1, the e...
The arytenoid cartilages are paired hyaline cartilages that articulate with the sloping upper border of the lamina of the cricoid cartilage by the cricoarytenoid joint. This joint allows movement of the arytenoid cartilages, which is vital in approximating, tensing and relaxing the vocal folds.
The ascending cervical artery is 1 of the 4 branches of the thyrocervical trunk (off the first part of the subclavian artery).
It is a small artery that ascends medial to the phrenic nerve on the prevertebral fascia. It contributes many small spinal branches into the intervertebral foramina of ...
The ascending pharyngeal artery, the smallest branch of the external carotid artery, is a long, slender vessel, deeply seated in the neck, beneath the other branches of the external carotid and under the stylopharyngeus.
origin: a branch of the external carotid artery
Assessment of thyroid lesions is commonly encountered in radiological practice.
hyperplastic / colloid nodule / nodular hyperplasia: 85%
papillary: 60-80% of carcinomas
Ultrasound along with nuclear medicine, is an important modality for assessment of thyroid lesions, and it is also frequently used to guide biopsy. Diagnostic criteria for thyroid nodules continue to evolve with improving ultrasound technology.
The asterion is the junction on the side of the posteroinferior calvarium where three sutures meet:
It is located at the posterior end of the parietotemporal suture, whereas the pterion is located at the anterior end.
It is one of...
Asteroid hyalosis is a degenerative condition of the eye where there is accumulation of calcium soaps in vitreous chamber.
The prevalence increases with age from 0.2% 43-54 year olds to 2.9% in 75-86 year olds. The overall prevalence is 1.2%. It is more commonly unilateral and fav...
The American Thyroid Association (ATA) guidelines for assessment of thyroid nodules are meant to improve inter- and intra-reader consistency during assessment of thyroid nodules on ultrasound, and to facilitate communication with referring endocrinologists.
The 2015 guidelines stress the import...
The atlantodental interval (ADI), as the name suggests, is the horizontal distance between the anterior arch of the atlas and the dens of the axis, used in the diagnosis of atlanto-occipital dissociation injuries and injuries of the atlas and axis.
It is the distance (in mm) between the posteri...
This mnemonic helps when remembering the ascending order of structures that corresponds to each waveform in an auditory brainstem response (ABR) tracing:
E: eighth nerve action potential (wave I)
C: cochlear nucleus (wave II)
O: olivary complex (superior) (wave III)
An auricular pseudocyst is a rare and benign cystic swelling resulting from intracartilaginous accumulation of fluid within the pinna.
While it can occur at any age and in either gender, it typically presents in middle aged males with a mean age of presentation being around 35-40 ...
The auriculotemporal nerve is a sensory branch of the posterior division of the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve.
The auriculotemporal nerve divides posteriorly from the posterior division of the mandibular division before dividing into two roots separate to encircle t...
Autoimmune thyroiditises (AIT) refers to a group of conditions where there is inflammation involving the thyroid gland related to thyroid antibodies.
They are most common thyroid disease group in the paediatric population 5.
Entities that fall under this category inclu...