Supraglottic retropharyngeal abscess

Case contributed by Steve Lau


Sore throat associated with left neck mass

Patient Data

Age: 50 years
Gender: Female

Soft tissue neck


CT neck shows a retropharyngeal rim enhancing collection extending from oropharynx to the level of glottis with no infraglottic extent. There is extensive inflammatory flat stranding involving bilateral carotid spaces as well as left anterior and posterior triangles of neck up to supraclavicular region.

There is multiple enlarged left sided cervical chain lymph nodes. The right internal jugular vein is effaced mostly at level C1/2.

Case Discussion

Retropharyngeal abscess can extend all the way to the superior mediastinum. It thought to form as a complication from tonsillitis, pharyngitis or other head and neck infection. 

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