Calcific tendinitis of the longus colli muscle
Calcific tendinitis of the longus colli muscle is an inflammatory/granulomatous response to deposition of calcium hydroxyapatite crystals in the tendons of the longus colli muscle.
Patients can present with debilitating symptoms that are unrelated to the degree of calcification seen on CT.
Plain film and CT
Calcifications may be seen on radiographs, but the preferred imaging modality is contrast-enhanced CT. On CT, amorphous calcifications are seen in the superior fibers of the longus colli muscle tendons (at the C1–C2 level). Small retropharyngeal effusions and edema of the adjacent prevertebral soft tissues may also be seen. Enhancement around the effusion should shift the diagnosis towards an abscess. Adenopathy and bone destruction, likewise, should suggest alternative diagnoses.
MRI will show the oedema, but is not as great with the calcifications. At least one case of localized marrow signal inflammatory has been reported.
Conservative management with NSAIDs is generally all that is required. Symptoms tend to resolve within a few weeks.
- 1. Offiah CE and Hall E. Acute calcific tendinitis of the longus colli muscle: spectrum of CT appearances and anatomical correlation. Br J Radiol. 2009 Jun;82(978):e117-21. Mihmanli I, Karaarslan E, Kanberoglu K. Inflammation of vertebral bone associated with acute calcific tendonitis of the longus colli muscle. Neuroradiology 2001;43:1098-101
Synonyms & Alternative Spellings
|Synonyms or Alternative Spelling||Include in Listings?|
|Acute retropharyngeal calcific tendinitis||✓|
|Calcific prevertebral tendinitis||✓|