Retropharyngeal abscess radiology

Soft tissue lateral neck film

Guidelines for children less than 15yo

1. Prevertebral space <7mm anterior to C2

2. Prevertebral space <14mm anterior to C6

3. Prevertebral space <40% of anteroposterior diameter of C3 or C4 vertebral bodies.

4. Neck flexion can cause false positive results

5. CT w/ IV contrast very sensitive for RPA and will be better definition of airway impingement and involvement of local structures.


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