High-sensitivity power Doppler imaging of normal superficial lymph nodes

Roberto Stramare, Alberto Tregnaghi, Claudio Fittà, Antonio Torraco, Yeaganeh Khadivi, C. R. Rossi, Leopoldo Rubaltelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. This study was conducted to describe the various patterns of vascularity of the normal superficial lymph nodes detected using high-sensitivity power Doppler imaging according to the dimension and anatomic location of the nodes. Subjects and Methods. A total of 712 lymph nodes (416 in the neck, 205 in the groin, and 91 in the axilla) were studied in 118 patients with high-sensitivity Power doppler. Three categories of vascularity were defined: absence of vascularity (type 1), hilar and perihilar vascularity (type 2), and vascularity in the entire node (type 3). The 3 types of vascularity were correlated with the anatomic location and the dimension (maximum transverse diameter) of the nodes. Results. Type 3 vascularity was found in all lymph nodes with a maximum transverse diameter > 6 mm, in the 67.9% (133/196) of lymph nodes between 4 and 6 mm in diameter, and in 45.7% (42/92) of lymph nodes between 2 and 4 mm in diameter. In lymph nodes with transverse diameters of 2-6 mm, type 3 vascularity was detected in 80.7% (46/57) of the axillary nodes, in 69.0% (87/126) of the inguinal nodes, and in 40.0% (42/105) of the cervical nodes. Type 2 vascularity was seen in 14.2% (101/712) of all examined lymph nodes. The absence of vascularity (type 1) was noted in only 1.9% (8/416) of cervical and 2.0% (4/205) of inguinal nodes. Conclusions. State-of-the-art power Doppler equipment can demonstrate type 3 vascularity in a high percentage of normal superficial lymph nodes. This pattern of intense, extensive-but harmonious-vascularity must be considered as an indicator of benignity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-276
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Ultrasound
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004


  • Axilla
  • Color Doppler imaging
  • Groin
  • Lymph nodes
  • Neck
  • Power Doppler imaging
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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