Ultrasound of the axillary arch muscle in children

Steiger, Philipp; Bucher, Oliver; Stranzinger, Enno (2013). Ultrasound of the axillary arch muscle in children. In: Swiss Congress of Radiology 2013. Luzern. 30.05.-01.06.2013.

Purpose: Unilateral or bilateral axillary masses in children are often of clinical concern for malignancies. Our review illustrates a normal variant of the axilla mimicking clinically an axillary mass. Methods and Materials: Systematic review of our PACS and RIS with the keyword “axilla” and the modality “ultrasound” in children under 16 years of age from 1.12.2009 until 30.11.2012. 19 axillary ultrasound examinations in 16 patients (7m/9f, age 3 months to 15 years) were included. One patient was examined 2 and one patient 3 times. In 6 patients a prominent muscle was noted overlying the humeral head in an abducted position. The muscle diameter was measured in cm and compared with the contralateral side. In one patient photographs of the axilla were available. Results: In 16 examinations a lymphadenopathy (n=5), abscess formation (n=5), seroma or hematoma (n=1) or lymphangioma (n=1) and no diagnosis (n=1) was found. In 4 patients (25%) a unilateral muscle variant and in 2 patients a bilateral muscle variant (axillary arch muscle) was noted. In one patient a duplication of the muscle was found. In 4 patients the muscle was larger than the contralateral side. Conclusion: An axillary mass in children without other clinical complaints may be related to a normal variant, the axillary arch muscle. Ultrasound is the first modality of choice if imaging is required. Radiologists should be aware of this normal variant since no other workup is necessary in asymptomatic children.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic, Interventional and Paediatric Radiology

UniBE Contributor:

Steiger, Philipp; Bucher, Oliver and Stranzinger, Enno


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Philipp Steiger

Date Deposited:

12 May 2014 10:56

Last Modified:

12 May 2014 10:56



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