Multiplanar CT and MRI of collections in the retropharyngeal space: Is it an abscess?

Jenny K. Hoang, Barton F. Branstetter IV, James D. Eastwood, Christine M. Glastonbury

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this article is to describe a practical imaging approach to evaluating collections in the retropharyngeal space. CONCLUSION. The differential diagnoses for fluid in the retropharyngeal space include both noninfectious and infectious processes. The multiplanar capabilities of CT and MRI are ideal for characterizing and delineating collections. In this pictorial essay, we describe the anatomy of the retropharyngeal space and offer a fourstep approach to evaluating retropharyngeal collections on multiplanar imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)W426-W432
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Retropharyngeal abscess
  • Retropharyngeal cellulitis
  • Retropharyngeal edema
  • Retropharyngeal nodes
  • Retropharyngeal space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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