Retropharyngeal calcific tendinitis: case report and review of literature

Emerg Radiol. 2005 Nov;11(6):375-80. doi: 10.1007/s10140-005-0427-y. Epub 2005 Jul 15.


Retropharyngeal calcific tendinitis, also known as acute calcific prevertebral tendinitis or longus colli tendinitis, is an uncommon benign condition presenting as acute neck pain. Clinically, it can be misdiagnosed as retropharyngeal abscess, traumatic injury, or infectious spondylitis. The diagnosis is made radiographically by an amorphous calcification anterior to C1-C2 and prevertebral soft tissue swelling. We present three cases of this uncommon condition to illustrate the classic findings on plain film, CT, and MRI. Recognition of the pathognomonic imaging appearance allows for easy diagnosis preventing unnecessary tests and treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Calcinosis / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Tendinopathy / diagnosis*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed