What is the anatomy of the pretracheal 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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Pretracheal space

  • The pretracheal (ie, anterior visceral) space is enclosed by the visceral division of the middle layer of the deep cervical fascia and lies immediately anterior to the trachea. It extends from the thyroid cartilage to the superior mediastinum.

  • Infections here are most commonly caused by perforation of the anterior esophageal wall by endoscopic instrumentation, foreign bodies, or trauma.

  • Infections cause dysphagia and odynophagia, pain, fever, and possible hoarseness and airway obstruction.

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