Pain in the Neck: Atypical Causes of Nontraumatic Neck Pain

A. Portanova, L.A. Rossett, and A.A. Bhatt

View Article on Neurographics Website

Date of Activity Release: Oct. 1, 2018
Date of Activity Expiration: Oct. 1, 2021

Target Audience:
Intended for neuroradiologists and neuroradiology trainees with varying degrees of experience.

Learning Objective:
To pictorially review several rare and/or atypical causes of neck pain, with particular attention to those entities with subtle radiologic findings that may not be discernable via conventional search patterns.

There is an extensive differential diagnosis for nontraumatic neck pain, the most common of which is well known and understood by radiologists and clinicians alike. Although crosssectional imaging of the neck has become a ubiquitous and invaluable tool in the work-up of neck pain, there still exist several atypical entities with subtle imaging findings that radiologists should consider before dismissing a study result as negative. In this review, we discuss several such diagnostic challenges, including extracranial cervical artery dissection, Eagle syndrome, glossopharyngeal neuralgia, pharyngeal mucositis, carotidynia, and calcific tendinitis of the longus colli muscles. With increased knowledge of these entities, radiologists can improve patient care and continue to be integral in patient diagnosis, especially in cases of atypical nontraumatic neck pain.

Commercial Support
No commercial support was received for this activity.

Credit Designation Statement

The American Society of Neuroradiology is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Society of Neuroradiology designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Method of Physician Participation:
Each participant will review the corresponding Neurographics article located at Upon completion, each physician will complete and pass a post-test with a score of at least 80% to receive a CME certificate.

All individuals in control of content have disclosed the following relevant financial relationships. All of these relationships were treated as a conflict of interest, and have been resolved (C7 SCS 6.1-6.2, 6.5)

Authors have no relevant financial relationships.





Barton Branstetter 

Editor in Chief

None, N/A

Adam Flanders

Deputy Editor

Royalties, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

Robert Quencer 

Consulting Editor

None, N/A

Mark Mullins

Associate Editor

Non-remunerative position, AUR6

Meng Law

Associate Editor

Stockholder, Clinical Imaging

Edward Escott

Associate Editor

Grant, Atherysys, Inc.; Royalties, Thieme Medical Publishers

Scott Faro

Associate Editor

None, N/A

Tina Young Poussaint

Associate Editor

None, N/A

Dheeraj Ghandi

Associate Editor

Grant, Arstasis, Axera Inc.; Consultant, Covidien, EV3

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