Diagnostic Imaging Principles and Applications in Head and Neck Pathology

  • Andy WhyteEmail author
  • Rudolf Boeddinghaus
  • Marie Anne Teresa J. Matias
Reference work entry


Head and neck pathology encompasses multiple, diverse conditions and disease processes, many of which are complex and require imaging as adjunct to clinical examination. Imaging techniques can provide anatomical or functional information, some using ionizing radiation while others do not. Plain radiographs provide a two-dimensional overview of the region of interest, and cross-sectional imaging modalities such as computed tomography (CT), cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provide multiplanar evaluation of osseous structures of the oral and maxillofacial region. CT and MRI have the additional advantage of providing high-resolution imaging of soft tissues. Initial evaluation of superficially located head and neck soft tissue lesions frequently utilize ultrasound. Nuclear medicine techniques provide functional information, evaluating metabolic turnover of tissue and differentiating pathological from normal tissue. The applications of these imaging techniques are discussed in several clinical scenarios under the headings of mass lesions, salivary gland disease, oral cavity malignancy, osteonecrosis of the jaws, temporomandibular joint disorders, orofacial pain, obstructive sleep apnea, and headaches. This chapter provides the most current data regarding the advantages and disadvantages of imaging techniques as they relate to head and neck pathology.


Maxillofacial imaging Cross-sectional imaging Cone beam computed tomography Magnetic resonance imaging Ultrasound Dental panoramic tomography Nuclear medicine Computed tomography Osteonecrosis of jaws Temporomandibular disorders Obstructive sleep apnea Headache 



The authors acknowledge Dr Andrew Patrikeos (MBBS, MRCP(UK), FRANZCR, ANZAPNM), Perth Radiological Clinic, for advice and input on nuclear medicine techniques.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andy Whyte
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Rudolf Boeddinghaus
    • 3
    • 2
  • Marie Anne Teresa J. Matias
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.University of MelbourneCarltonAustralia
  2. 2.University of Western AustraliaNedlandsAustralia
  3. 3.Perth Radiological ClinicSubiacoAustralia
  4. 4.Ear Science InstituteSubiacoAustralia
  5. 5.Qscan Radiology ClinicsHerstonAustralia

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