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Retropharyngeal Abscess

Fig.: Spaces in relation to pharynx where abscesses can form

Fig : Spaces of head and neck seen in coronal section. Mucosa
(1), pharyngobasilar fascia (2), buccopharyngeal fascia (3), superior constrictor muscle (4), superficial layer of deep cervical fascia enclosing submandibular gland (5), parotid gland (6), masseter muscle (7), temporalis muscle (8), medial pterygoid muscle (9)
  1. Retropharyngeal Space (Anatomy)
    It is also called space of Gilletle
    Extent: from the skull base to the bifurcation of trachea
    1. Anteriorly:
      Buccopharyngeal fascia covering the constrictors
    2. Posteriorly:
      1. Prevertebral fascia
      2. 3.Lateraly:
      3. Carotid sheath
  2. Features:
    It is a potential space
    1. It is divided into two lateral compartments called space of Gillette
    2. The space is filled with loose areolar tissue and retropharyngeal lymph nodes which disappear by 3-4 yrs of age
    3. Nodes of Rouvière: Forms the main and constant lateral group of retropharyngeal lymph node.
    4. Position: Lies anterior to the lateral mass of the atlas at the lateral border of longus capitis muscle.

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