Anatomical hierarchy

Deep spaces of face and neck > Danger space



The Danger space is a potential space located behind the true retropharyngeal space, which connects the deep cervical spaces to the mediastinum.  In healthy patients, it is indistinguishable from the retropharyngeal space. It is only visible when distended by fluid or pus, below the level of T1-T6, since the retropharyngeal space variably ends at this level. 


  • anteriorly: alar fascia
  • posteriorly: prevertebral layer of the deep cervical fascia
  • superiorly: clivus
  • inferiorly: posterior mediastinum at the level of the diaphragm 


Related pathology 

It is a potential path for spread of infections (e.g. retropharyngeal abscess) from the pharynx to the mediastinum.​

Harnsberger HR, Glastonbury CM, Michel MA et-al. Diagnostic Imaging: Head and Neck. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2010) ISBN:1931884781
Imaging of the Head and Neck. Thieme. (2012) ISBN:3131505311.
Gray's Anatomy (20th U.S. edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, published in 1918)


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