Abstract
Background: Studying the prevalence of different types of neck masses can enhance the appropriate and timely diagnosis of the etiology of a neck mass, which is critical in maintaining good prognosis. However, there is a paucity of studies in Saudi Arabia evaluating the prevalence of different types of neck masses.
Aim: This study was conducted to assess the etiologies of neck masses presenting to a large tertiary care hospital, and assess compliance with follow-up after diagnosis. 
Methods: This retrospective study was carried out on all patients diagnosed with neck masses over the period from January 01, 2016 to April 30, 2018 at King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Demographic and clinical data were collected from the medical records (age at diagnosis, type of neck mass, size of mass, and the procedure undertaken) and recorded on a structured form. Data analysis was performed by IBM-SPSS Statistics version 21, using descriptive statistics, Chi-square test of independence, independent samples t-test and one-way ANOVA. All p-values <0.05 were considered statistically significant.
Results: A total of 195 patients were included in our study. The mean age was 44.6 years. The average size of neck masses was 4 cm. A higher number of Non-Saudi patients received chemotherapy at our institution. Thyroid masses constituted 53.5% of the studied cases. Among patients diagnosed with lymphoma, 10.3% received chemotherapy treatment at our institution. The origin of the masses was significantly associated with gender (p<0.001, Cramer’s V = 0.398), etiology (p=0.019, Cramer’s V = 0.500) and malignancy (p<0.001, Cramer’s V = 0.466). 
Conclusion: the majority of neck masses originated from thyroid or salivary glands. The rate of follow-up was low at our institution. The importance of follow-up cannot be over emphasized. Health education should be provided to all patients to raise their awareness about follow-up. Moreover, follow-up clinics should be provided, and written instructions as well as follow-up schedules should be handed to patients in need. We suggest having a dedicated endocrinology and oncology office and nurse to facilitate patient referral and follow-up
 
Keywords: Neck; Mass; Thyroid; Lymphadenopathy; Neoplasm; Salivary glands

 

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