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Age: 8 months

Sex: Female

Indication: Stridor

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Case #2


Findings

  • Marked swelling of the retropharyngeal soft tissues resulting in upper airway narrowing
  • Mild narrowing of the subglottic airway


Diagnosis

  • Retropharyngeal abscess

Sample Report

Marked swelling of the retropharyngeal soft tissues resulting in upper airway narrowing. Findings are concerning for retropharyngeal edema and/or abscess. Additional note is made of mild narrowing of the subglottic airway. Recommend contrast-enhanced neck CT for further evaluation.

Epiglottis is not well evaluated on this study but does not appear enlarged. This can also be further evaluated on CT.


Discussion

  • Remember that you need good neck extension to avoid false positives when evaluating the retropharyngeal soft tissues
  • A rough (but easy to remember) rule-of-thumb for retropharyngeal soft tissues is that they should be no greater than 7 mm in thickness at C2 and no greater than 2 cm in thickness at C7 (7 at 2 and 2 at 7)



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