[Severe upper airway obstruction due to retropharyngeal haematoma formation following cervical trauma]

Mund Kiefer Gesichtschir. 2007 Dec;11(6):363-7. doi: 10.1007/s10006-007-0085-1. Epub 2007 Nov 8.
[Article in German]


Mechanical airway obstruction secondary to retropharyngeal bleeding is rare. In most cases such a complication is described after head and neck trauma. Complicating factors include anticoagulant therapy, tumour, aneurysm, infection or major cervical spine injury. A precise initial diagnosis is necessary to avoid a life-threatening situation. Lateral X-ray and computed tomography is essential for safe management.Treatment depends upon size of the haematoma as well as the clinical course of the patient. Smaller haematomas may be observed. Lager haematomas and those that fail to reabsorb should undergo drainage.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Airway Obstruction / diagnostic imaging
  • Airway Obstruction / etiology*
  • Airway Obstruction / therapy
  • Critical Care
  • Extravasation of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Materials / diagnostic imaging
  • Hematoma / complications*
  • Hematoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Hematoma / therapy
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Neck Injuries / complications*
  • Neck Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Neck Injuries / therapy
  • Neck Muscles / diagnostic imaging
  • Neck Muscles / injuries
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / complications*
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / therapy
  • Tomography, Spiral Computed
  • Tracheostomy
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / complications*
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / diagnostic imaging
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / therapy