Anatomical hierarchy

General Anatomy > Alimentary system > Pharynx > Peripharyngeal space > Retropharyngeal space



The retropharyngeal space is a potential space of the head and neck, bounded by the buccopharyngeal fascia anteriorly and the prevertebral fascia posteriorly. 

Because serious infections of teeth can spread down this space into the posterior mediastinum, it is often confused with the danger space. The danger space is actually between the alar fascia and the prevertebral fascia and extends from the cranial base above to the level of the diaphragm.

Relations of the retropharyngeal space:

  • Superior: Base of the skull
  • Inferior: Superior mediastinum
  • Lateral: Carotid sheath
  • Anterior: Buccopharyngeal fascia
  • Posterior: Alar fascia


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