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Acute calcific tendinitis of the longus colli muscle masquerading as a retropharyngeal abscess: A case report and review of the literature.

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Acute calcific tendinitis of the longus colli muscle masquerading as a retropharyngeal abscess: A case report and review of the literature.

Int J Surg Case Rep. 2017 Nov 11;41:343-346

Authors: Alamoudi U, Al-Sayed AA, AlSallumi Y, Rigby MH, Taylor SM, Hart RD, Trites JRB

Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Acute calcific longus colli tendinitis, also known as retropharyngeal or acute calcific prevertebral tendinitis, is a reactive self-limiting inflammatory response to acute or subacute deposition of amorphous calcium hydroxyapatite crystals in the tendons of the longus colli muscle, anterior to the C1-C2 disk space.
CASE PRESENTATION: A 53-year-old man presented with a complaint of neck pain and odynophagia over a few days. Blood test findings showed mild leukocytosis and elevated C-reactive protein level. Computed tomography findings showed mild edematous prevertebral thickening involving the retropharyngeal space, predominantly on the left side, with no appreciable surrounding peripheral enhancement. A small amount of linear calcification/ossification involving the superior fibers of the left longus colli muscle, anterior to the C1 arch were also noted.
DISCUSSION: The patient’s presentation could be easily misdiagnosed as a retropharyngeal abscess. However, the presence of subtle findings on CT would lead to the correct diagnosis. The management of this condition is mainly with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
CONCLUSION: This study presents the characteristic radiological features of retropharyngeal calcific tendinitis. These features are subtle and could be missed. Once an accurate diagnosis is made, treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is indicated. The purpose of this case report is to highlight this rare condition’s diagnosis and management.

PMID: 29145108 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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