Tuberculosis with prevertebral abscess
This patient is immunocompromised, presenting with acute neck pain and fever.
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The lateral cervical radiograph shows gross widening of the prevertebral space, causing displacement of the tracheal shadow anteriorly.
The prevertebral space is formed by prevertebral fascia which surrounds the prevertebral muscles. Any mass or inflammation in this space displace the prevertebral muscles anteriorly. This is a very crucial sign in the differentiation of prevertebral space abnormalities from retropharyngeal space
The CT reconstruction is very useful in exact localization and shows displacement of prevertebral muscles anteriorly by a heterogenous, predominently cystic mass. This was confirmed as tuberculous abscess post-surgery.