link
Bookmarks
Retropharyngeal Space Abscess
Bernadette L. Koch, MD
To access 4,300 diagnoses written by the world's leading experts in radiology, please log in or subscribe.Log inSubscribe
0
11
3
2

KEY FACTS

  • Terminology

    • Imaging

      • Top Differential Diagnoses

        • Pathology

          • Clinical Issues

            TERMINOLOGY

            • Abbreviations

              • Retropharyngeal space (RPS)
            • Definitions

              • RPS: Midline space posterior to pharyngeal mucosa and cervical esophagus from skull base to T3 vertebral level in mediastinum
              • Extranodal purulent fluid collection in RPS = RPS abscess

            IMAGING

            • General Features

              • Radiographic Findings

                • CT Findings

                  • MR Findings

                    • Ultrasonographic Findings

                      • Imaging Recommendations

                        DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                          PATHOLOGY

                          • General Features

                            • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                              • Microscopic Features

                                CLINICAL ISSUES

                                • Presentation

                                  • Demographics

                                    • Natural History & Prognosis

                                      • Treatment

                                        DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                        • Consider

                                          • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                            Selected References

                                            1. Novis SJ et al: Pediatric deep space neck infections in U.S. children, 2000-2009. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 78(5):832-6, 2014
                                            2. Schott CK et al: A pain in the neck: non-traumatic adult retropharyngeal abscess. J Emerg Med. 44(2):329-31, 2013
                                            3. Abdel-Haq N et al: Retropharyngeal abscess in children: the rising incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 31(7):696-9, 2012
                                            4. Baker KA et al: Use of computed tomography in the emergency department for the diagnosis of pediatric peritonsillar abscess. Pediatr Emerg Care. 28(10):962-5, 2012
                                            5. Debnam JM et al: Retropharyngeal and prevertebral spaces: anatomic imaging and diagnosis. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 45(6):1293-310, 2012
                                            6. Maroldi R et al: Emergency imaging assessment of deep neck space infections. Semin Ultrasound CT MR. 33(5):432-42, 2012
                                            7. Reilly BK et al: Retropharyngeal abscess: diagnosis and treatment update. Infect Disord Drug Targets. 12(4):291-6, 2012
                                            8. Virk JS et al: Analysing lateral soft tissue neck radiographs. Emerg Radiol. 19(3):255-60, 2012
                                            9. Wang KY et al: Retropharyngeal abscess with descending necrotizing mediastinitis. J Emerg Med. 43(1):114-5, 2012
                                            10. Wong DK et al: To drain or not to drain - management of pediatric deep neck abscesses: a case-control study. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 76(12):1810-3, 2012
                                            11. Hoang JK et al: Multiplanar CT and MRI of collections in the retropharyngeal space: is it an abscess? AJR Am J Roentgenol. 196(4):W426-32, 2011
                                            12. Elsherif AM et al: Indicators of a more complicated clinical course for pediatric patients with retropharyngeal abscess. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 74(2):198-201, 2010
                                            13. Byramji A et al: Fatal retropharyngeal abscess: a possible marker of inflicted injury in infancy and early childhood. Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 5(4):302-6, 2009
                                            14. Casey ED et al: Severe retropharyngeal abscess after the use of a reinforced laryngeal mask with a Bosworth introducer. Anesthesiology. 110(4):943-5, 2009
                                            15. Hirshoren N et al: Retropharyngeal infected hematoma: a unique complication of nasogastric tube insertion. J Trauma. 67(4):891, 2009
                                            16. Ozbek C et al: Giant retropharyngeal abscess in an adult as a complication of acute tonsillitis: case report. Ear Nose Throat J. 88(11):E20-2, 2009
                                            17. Palacios E et al: Nontraumatic retropharyngeal abscess complicated by cervical osteomyelitis and epidural abscess in post-Katrina New Orleans: four cases. Ear Nose Throat J. 88(7):E14, 2009
                                            18. Pelaz AC et al: Conservative treatment of retropharyngeal and parapharyngeal abscess in children. J Craniofac Surg. 20(4):1178-81, 2009
                                            19. Schuler PJ et al: Surgical management of retropharyngeal abscesses. Acta Otolaryngol. 129(11):1274-9, 2009
                                            20. Shah RK et al: Mediastinitis in infants from deep neck space infections. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 140(6):936-8, 2009
                                            21. Caccamese JF Jr et al: Deep neck infections: clinical considerations in aggressive disease. Oral Maxillofac Surg Clin North Am. 20(3):367-80, 2008
                                            22. Page NC et al: Clinical features and treatment of retropharyngeal abscess in children. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 138(3):300-6, 2008
                                            23. Pinto A et al: Infections of the neck leading to descending necrotizing mediastinitis: Role of multi-detector row computed tomography. Eur J Radiol. 65(3):389-94, 2008
                                            24. Zafereo ME Jr et al: Chronic retropharyngeal abscess presenting as obstructive sleep apnea. Pediatr Emerg Care. 24(6):382-4, 2008
                                            25. Kamath MP et al: Tuberculous retropharyngeal abscess. Ear Nose Throat J. 86(4):236-7, 2007
                                            26. Shefelbine SE et al: Pediatric retropharyngeal lymphadenitis: differentiation from retropharyngeal abscess and treatment implications. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 136(2):182-8, 2007
                                            27. Craig FW et al: Retropharyngeal abscess in children: clinical presentation, utility of imaging, and current management. Pediatrics. 111(6 Pt 1):1394-8, 2003
                                            28. McClay JE et al: Intravenous antibiotic therapy for deep neck abscesses defined by computed tomography. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 129(11):1207-12, 2003
                                            29. Vural C et al: Accuracy of computerized tomography in deep neck infections in the pediatric population. Am J Otolaryngol. 24(3):143-8, 2003
                                            30. Wang LF et al: Characterizations of life-threatening deep cervical space infections: a review of one hundred ninety-six cases. Am J Otolaryngol. 24(2):111-7, 2003
                                            31. Cmejrek RC et al: Presentation, diagnosis, and management of deep-neck abscesses in infants. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 128(12):1361-4, 2002
                                            32. Dawes LC et al: Retropharyngeal abscess in children. ANZ J Surg. 72(6):417-20, 2002
                                            33. Elden LM et al: Accuracy and usefulness of radiographic assessment of cervical neck infections in children. J Otolaryngol. 30(2):82-9, 2001
                                            34. Kirse DJ et al: Surgical management of retropharyngeal space infections in children. Laryngoscope. 111(8):1413-22, 2001
                                            35. Chong VF et al: Radiology of the retropharyngeal space. Clin Radiol. 55(10):740-8, 2000
                                            36. Boucher C et al: Retropharyngeal abscesses: a clinical and radiologic correlation. J Otolaryngol. 28(3):134-7, 1999
                                            37. Stone ME et al: Correlation between computed tomography and surgical findings in retropharyngeal inflammatory processes in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 49(2):121-5, 1999
                                            38. Hudgins PA et al: Internal carotid artery narrowing in children with retropharyngeal lymphadenitis and abscess. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 19(10):1841-3, 1998
                                            39. Ide C et al: An early MR observation of carotid involvement by retropharyngeal abscess. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 19(3):499-501, 1998
                                            40. Tannebaum RD: Adult retropharyngeal abscess: a case report and review of the literature. J Emerg Med. 14(2):147-58, 1996
                                            41. Glasier CM et al: CT and ultrasound imaging of retropharyngeal abscesses in children. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 13(4):1191-5, 1992
                                            Related Anatomy
                                            Loading...
                                            Related Differential Diagnoses
                                            Loading...
                                            References
                                            Tables

                                            Tables

                                            KEY FACTS

                                            • Terminology

                                              • Imaging

                                                • Top Differential Diagnoses

                                                  • Pathology

                                                    • Clinical Issues

                                                      TERMINOLOGY

                                                      • Abbreviations

                                                        • Retropharyngeal space (RPS)
                                                      • Definitions

                                                        • RPS: Midline space posterior to pharyngeal mucosa and cervical esophagus from skull base to T3 vertebral level in mediastinum
                                                        • Extranodal purulent fluid collection in RPS = RPS abscess

                                                      IMAGING

                                                      • General Features

                                                        • Radiographic Findings

                                                          • CT Findings

                                                            • MR Findings

                                                              • Ultrasonographic Findings

                                                                • Imaging Recommendations

                                                                  DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                                                                    PATHOLOGY

                                                                    • General Features

                                                                      • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                                                                        • Microscopic Features

                                                                          CLINICAL ISSUES

                                                                          • Presentation

                                                                            • Demographics

                                                                              • Natural History & Prognosis

                                                                                • Treatment

                                                                                  DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                                                                  • Consider

                                                                                    • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                                                                      Selected References

                                                                                      1. Novis SJ et al: Pediatric deep space neck infections in U.S. children, 2000-2009. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 78(5):832-6, 2014
                                                                                      2. Schott CK et al: A pain in the neck: non-traumatic adult retropharyngeal abscess. J Emerg Med. 44(2):329-31, 2013
                                                                                      3. Abdel-Haq N et al: Retropharyngeal abscess in children: the rising incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 31(7):696-9, 2012
                                                                                      4. Baker KA et al: Use of computed tomography in the emergency department for the diagnosis of pediatric peritonsillar abscess. Pediatr Emerg Care. 28(10):962-5, 2012
                                                                                      5. Debnam JM et al: Retropharyngeal and prevertebral spaces: anatomic imaging and diagnosis. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 45(6):1293-310, 2012
                                                                                      6. Maroldi R et al: Emergency imaging assessment of deep neck space infections. Semin Ultrasound CT MR. 33(5):432-42, 2012
                                                                                      7. Reilly BK et al: Retropharyngeal abscess: diagnosis and treatment update. Infect Disord Drug Targets. 12(4):291-6, 2012
                                                                                      8. Virk JS et al: Analysing lateral soft tissue neck radiographs. Emerg Radiol. 19(3):255-60, 2012
                                                                                      9. Wang KY et al: Retropharyngeal abscess with descending necrotizing mediastinitis. J Emerg Med. 43(1):114-5, 2012
                                                                                      10. Wong DK et al: To drain or not to drain - management of pediatric deep neck abscesses: a case-control study. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 76(12):1810-3, 2012
                                                                                      11. Hoang JK et al: Multiplanar CT and MRI of collections in the retropharyngeal space: is it an abscess? AJR Am J Roentgenol. 196(4):W426-32, 2011
                                                                                      12. Elsherif AM et al: Indicators of a more complicated clinical course for pediatric patients with retropharyngeal abscess. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 74(2):198-201, 2010
                                                                                      13. Byramji A et al: Fatal retropharyngeal abscess: a possible marker of inflicted injury in infancy and early childhood. Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 5(4):302-6, 2009
                                                                                      14. Casey ED et al: Severe retropharyngeal abscess after the use of a reinforced laryngeal mask with a Bosworth introducer. Anesthesiology. 110(4):943-5, 2009
                                                                                      15. Hirshoren N et al: Retropharyngeal infected hematoma: a unique complication of nasogastric tube insertion. J Trauma. 67(4):891, 2009
                                                                                      16. Ozbek C et al: Giant retropharyngeal abscess in an adult as a complication of acute tonsillitis: case report. Ear Nose Throat J. 88(11):E20-2, 2009
                                                                                      17. Palacios E et al: Nontraumatic retropharyngeal abscess complicated by cervical osteomyelitis and epidural abscess in post-Katrina New Orleans: four cases. Ear Nose Throat J. 88(7):E14, 2009
                                                                                      18. Pelaz AC et al: Conservative treatment of retropharyngeal and parapharyngeal abscess in children. J Craniofac Surg. 20(4):1178-81, 2009
                                                                                      19. Schuler PJ et al: Surgical management of retropharyngeal abscesses. Acta Otolaryngol. 129(11):1274-9, 2009
                                                                                      20. Shah RK et al: Mediastinitis in infants from deep neck space infections. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 140(6):936-8, 2009
                                                                                      21. Caccamese JF Jr et al: Deep neck infections: clinical considerations in aggressive disease. Oral Maxillofac Surg Clin North Am. 20(3):367-80, 2008
                                                                                      22. Page NC et al: Clinical features and treatment of retropharyngeal abscess in children. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 138(3):300-6, 2008
                                                                                      23. Pinto A et al: Infections of the neck leading to descending necrotizing mediastinitis: Role of multi-detector row computed tomography. Eur J Radiol. 65(3):389-94, 2008
                                                                                      24. Zafereo ME Jr et al: Chronic retropharyngeal abscess presenting as obstructive sleep apnea. Pediatr Emerg Care. 24(6):382-4, 2008
                                                                                      25. Kamath MP et al: Tuberculous retropharyngeal abscess. Ear Nose Throat J. 86(4):236-7, 2007
                                                                                      26. Shefelbine SE et al: Pediatric retropharyngeal lymphadenitis: differentiation from retropharyngeal abscess and treatment implications. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 136(2):182-8, 2007
                                                                                      27. Craig FW et al: Retropharyngeal abscess in children: clinical presentation, utility of imaging, and current management. Pediatrics. 111(6 Pt 1):1394-8, 2003
                                                                                      28. McClay JE et al: Intravenous antibiotic therapy for deep neck abscesses defined by computed tomography. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 129(11):1207-12, 2003
                                                                                      29. Vural C et al: Accuracy of computerized tomography in deep neck infections in the pediatric population. Am J Otolaryngol. 24(3):143-8, 2003
                                                                                      30. Wang LF et al: Characterizations of life-threatening deep cervical space infections: a review of one hundred ninety-six cases. Am J Otolaryngol. 24(2):111-7, 2003
                                                                                      31. Cmejrek RC et al: Presentation, diagnosis, and management of deep-neck abscesses in infants. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 128(12):1361-4, 2002
                                                                                      32. Dawes LC et al: Retropharyngeal abscess in children. ANZ J Surg. 72(6):417-20, 2002
                                                                                      33. Elden LM et al: Accuracy and usefulness of radiographic assessment of cervical neck infections in children. J Otolaryngol. 30(2):82-9, 2001
                                                                                      34. Kirse DJ et al: Surgical management of retropharyngeal space infections in children. Laryngoscope. 111(8):1413-22, 2001
                                                                                      35. Chong VF et al: Radiology of the retropharyngeal space. Clin Radiol. 55(10):740-8, 2000
                                                                                      36. Boucher C et al: Retropharyngeal abscesses: a clinical and radiologic correlation. J Otolaryngol. 28(3):134-7, 1999
                                                                                      37. Stone ME et al: Correlation between computed tomography and surgical findings in retropharyngeal inflammatory processes in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 49(2):121-5, 1999
                                                                                      38. Hudgins PA et al: Internal carotid artery narrowing in children with retropharyngeal lymphadenitis and abscess. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 19(10):1841-3, 1998
                                                                                      39. Ide C et al: An early MR observation of carotid involvement by retropharyngeal abscess. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 19(3):499-501, 1998
                                                                                      40. Tannebaum RD: Adult retropharyngeal abscess: a case report and review of the literature. J Emerg Med. 14(2):147-58, 1996
                                                                                      41. Glasier CM et al: CT and ultrasound imaging of retropharyngeal abscesses in children. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 13(4):1191-5, 1992