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Radiol Clin North Am. 2011 Jan;49(1):165-82. doi: 10.1016/j.rcl.2010.07.013.

Head and neck infection and inflammation.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, 330 Brookline Avenue, E/CC-455, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


This article discusses the imaging manifestations of infectious and inflammatory conditions of the head and neck. Special attention is paid to the sites, routes of spread, and complications of neck infections. Because the clinical signs and symptoms and the complications of these conditions are often determined by the precise anatomic site involved, anatomic considerations are stressed. Familiarity with the fascial layers, spaces of the neck, and the contents of each space is helpful for this discussion. The fascial layers of the neck are important barriers to infection, and once infection is established, the fascial layers play a part in directing its spread.

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