Semin Musculoskelet Radiol 2020; 24(02): 101-112
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1710067
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

High-Resolution Ultrasound of Small Clinically Relevant Nerves Running Across the Posterior Triangle of the Neck

Riccardo Picasso
1  Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), Università di Genova, Genova, Italy
2  IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genova, Italy
,
Federico Zaottini
1  Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), Università di Genova, Genova, Italy
2  IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genova, Italy
,
Federico Pistoia
1  Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), Università di Genova, Genova, Italy
2  IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genova, Italy
,
Maribel Miguel Perez
3  Departamento de Patología y Terapéutica Experimental, Facultad de Medicina y Ciencias de la Salud (Campus de Bellvitge), Unidad de Anatomía y Embriología Humana, Universitat de Barcelona, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
,
Andrea Klauser
4  Universitätsklinik für Radiologie, Medizinische Universität, Abteilung Rheuma- und Sportbildgebung, Innsbruck, Austria
,
Federica Rossi
1  Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), Università di Genova, Genova, Italy
2  IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genova, Italy
,
Angelo Schenone
5  Department of Neurosciences, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetic and Maternal and Infantile Sciences (DINOGMI), University of Genova, Italy
,
Alberto Stefano Tagliafico
1  Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), Università di Genova, Genova, Italy
2  IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genova, Italy
,
Carlo Martinoli
1  Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), Università di Genova, Genova, Italy
2  IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genova, Italy
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
21 May 2020 (online)

Abstract

With the advent of high-frequency ultrasound (US) transducers, new perspectives have been opened in evaluating millimetric and submillimetric nerves that, despite their dimensions, can be considered relevant in clinical practice. In the posterior triangle of the neck, the suprascapular, long thoracic, phrenic, supraclavicular, great auricular, lesser occipital, and transverse cervical nerves are amenable to US examination and the object of special interest because they may be involved in many pathologic processes or have a value as targets of advanced therapeutic procedures. The correct identification of these nerves requires a deep knowledge of local neck anatomy and the use of a complex landmarks-based approach with US. This article describes the anatomy and US technique to examine small but clinically relevant nerves of the posterior triangle of the neck (excluding the brachial plexus), reviewing the main pathologic conditions in which they may be involved.