Critical review of clinical practice guidelines for evaluation of neck mass in adults

Kevin Chorath, Aman Prasad, Neil Luu, Beatrice Go, Alvaro Moreira, Karthik Rajasekaran

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: Several clinical practice guidelines have been produced and disseminated for the evaluation of a neck mass. However, to date, the quality and methodologic rigor of these clinical practice guidelines have not been appraised. Therefore, this study set out to identify and assess the methodologic quality of national and international guidelines for the evaluation and management of neck masses in adults. Methods: We conducted a comprehensive search of EMBASE, MEDLINE/PubMed, SCOPUS and grey literature sources until September 2020. The quality of these guidelines was assessed by four reviewers using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation, 2nd edition (AGREE II). Domain scores were considered acceptable quality if they scored >60%, and Intraclass Correlation Coefficients (ICC) were calculated to assess agreement among the appraisers. Results: Seven guidelines were assessed for evaluation. Among these, only the American Academy of Otolaryngology (AAO), Cancer Care Manitoba (CCMB), and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) achieved an overall rating of “high”. The remaining four guidelines achieved ratings of either “average” or “low”. The “Scope and Purpose” domain achieved the highest mean score (94.4% ± 5.0%), and lowest was “Applicability” (51.5% ± 29.2%). ICC analysis showed substantial to very good agreement across all domains (0.75–0.98). Conclusion: These findings highlight the variability in methodologic quality of guidelines for the evaluation and management of adult neck mass. The results from this analysis highlight the need to improve guidelines development process for this topic and may guide the selection and use of these guidelines in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-632
Number of pages8
JournalBrazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • Cervical lymphadenopathy
  • Consensus
  • Guideline
  • Neck mass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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