Cervical abscess

Case contributed by Dr Bruno Di Muzio


Right-sided neck swelling. Ultrasound showed a 45 mm solid-cystic mass deep to the sternocleidomastoid muscle. Necrotic lymph node? Abscess?

Patient Data

Age: 35 years
Gender: Male

CT Neck

There is a multilobulated predominantly hypoattenuating mass, extending under the right sternocleidomastoid muscle, from the posterior cervical space to the submandibular space anteriorly, involving the regions of the IIB and III lymph nodes levels, displacing the structures of the carotid and pharyngeal spaces medially and the right submandibular salivary gland anteriorly. This mass measures approximately 6.8 x 4.8 x 5.2 cm (longitudinal x anteroposterior x transverse) and demonstrates a vivid peripheral contrast enhancement. Extensive involvement of the prevertebral space from C1 to C7.

Prominent bilateral lymph nodes with normal morphology.

Case Discussion

The findings are those of a large deep cervical parapharyngeal abscess on the right with extension to the prevertebral space.

PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 43725
Published: 29th Mar 2016
Last edited: 22nd Mar 2021
System: Head & Neck
Tag: rmh
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.