The lateral radiograph demonstrated prevertebral swelling, suspicious for retropharyngeal cellulitis/abscess. Furthermore, there were ossific densities projecting anterior to and at the level of the odontoid process. This was not originally described, but this finding provides an additional differential diagnosis of calcific tendinitis of the longus colli muscle. Other differentials include retropharyngeal hematoma in the correct clinical setting or mass such as hemangioma.
The CT clarified that the retropharyngeal fluid collection was secondary to calcific tendinitis of the longus colli muscle.