Retropharyngeal abscess with mediastinitis

Case contributed by Dr Ian Bickle


Middle aged diabetic patient with fever and left sided neck swelling.

Patient Data

Age: 60 years old
Gender: Male

Left submandibular space collection extending posteriorly via the left parapharyngeal space around the pharynx into the retropharyngeal space.

The collection further involves the pre-vertebral space with extension nto the superior mediastinum.

Case Discussion

Infections of the head and neck can be life threatening, especially when involving the retropharyngeal, pre-vertebral and danger spaces and tracking into the mediastinum, causing a mediastinitis.

The vast majority of patient's are immunosupressed, in particular have diabetes mellitus.

Knowledge of the anatomical spaces of the neck and neck is invaluable.

PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 28056
Published: 1st Jun 2014
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
System: Head & Neck
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.