What is the anatomy of the prevertebral space relevant to deep neck infections?

Updated: Apr 30, 2020
  • Author: Alan D Murray, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Prevertebral space

  • The prevertebral space is located anterior to the vertebral bodies and posterior to the prevertebral division of the deep layer of the deep cervical fascia. It lies just posterior to the danger space (see below). Laterally, it is bounded by the fusion of the prevertebral fascia with the transverse processes of the vertebral bodies. It extends from the skull base to the coccyx.

  • The most common etiology of prevertebral abscesses (other than extension from other sites) is trauma, particularly iatrogenic instrumentation. Involvement of the vertebrae can lead to osteomyelitis and spinal instability.

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