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Radiology/help understanding CT


CT chest
CT chest  

CT neck
CT neck  

I am feeling pressure and pain underneath each collarbone and I am having difficulty/pain swallowing.

So far all of the radiologist have not reported anything other than mild heterogeneity in my thyroid.  

I feel like radiology is a black box.  I go in and have the test done and I get a report with no understanding of what they actually looked at and what they actually saw, and then all of the doctors rely on this one person for there information.  When I ask them to explain any thing, the standard response is "I don't read imagery."

I need to understand the process of my diagnosis, otherwise I don't trust the doctors diagnosis.  I have had too many misdiagnosis in my life, one that almost killed me.

I am uploading two images.  I want to know what the structures are in the white circles. These are from the CT scan of my neck, taken Sept 2014.

Thank you


Aloha, Rick.

I'm sorry you're having difficulty and pain swallowing. I apologize for the delay in answering this question. It's been crazy at work...

The doctor that ordered the CT for you should be able to explain your radiology report to you in a way that you can understand it. If (s)he hasn't explained it to your satisfaction, I recommend contacting any radiologist (x-ray doctor) and asking them to interpret your images in plain English. If you're persistent, I'm certain you'll be able to find someone who will explain the report to you.

Although I am not qualified to interpret these images, I may be able to help you identify the areas that you've circled on your images.

All of the areas you've circled look like muscles to me. The muscle circled on your CT neck is probably the cricopharyngeal muscle, which helps with swallowing (

I found a great example of a CT of the neck online. Scroll through to coronal images #69-71 and you'll see images that look like the one you attached with the muscles labeled:

On that same page, scroll to the coronal images #73-83 and you'll see images like the CT chest image you attached. Although these muscles are not identified on this site, they do appear to be muscles. My best guess is that they are part of the Scalene muscle or maybe the Levator scapulae muscle. But I can't be sure. A radiologist would be able to tell you.

Anyway, the areas you've circled are almost certainly muscles, not tumors.

Hope this helps,


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Delia White


I am not qualified to interpret diagnostic imaging or to diagnose disease. Please consult a physician for that information. I am the photographer. I can tell you what to expect during most MRI, CT and X-ray procedures.


I now have more than 30 years experience in diagnostic imaging. My specialty is MRI. I am also very familiar with CT and the way we used to take x-rays (everything's digital now)!

I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Radiologic Technology.

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