Retrotracheal space

Last revised by Dr Patrick J Rock on 27 May 2021

The retrotracheal space (or Raider triangle) is a radiolucent mediastinal space best seen on lateral chest x-rays. It is normally triangular in shape but can vary greatly in size and shape depending on the patient's body habitus and lung volume 1.

The retrotracheal space was first described by Louis Raider (1913-1999) 2 in 1973 4, although he had a hard time finding a journal willing to accept it, both Radiology and AJR rejected the manuscript. Ben Felson called it Raider's triangle in his Caldwell Lecture in 1986 3

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