The soft tissue x-ray film of the neck is helpful in assessing neoplastic and inflammatory processes, alterations caused by trauma, and the nature and position of foreign bodies. For descriptive purposes, the radiolucent air column seen within the neck can be divided into three regions; oropharynx, hypopharynx, and intrinsic laryngotrachea. Arbitrarily, the soft tissue covering the upper three cervical vertebra or the oropharynx is referred to as the retropharyngeal tissue; whereas the soft tissue over the fourth, fifth, and sixth vertebrae or the region of the hypopharynx is alluded to as the retrolaryngeal tissue. The hyoid bone, and to a lesser extent the laryngeal cartilages, offer easily identifiable landmarks in most soft tissue x-ray films of the neck. Awareness of normal radiologic features is essential in order to detect pathological deviation.
Principato JJ, Liebowitz M. Lateral X-Ray Film of the Neck in Otorhinolaryngology. Arch Otolaryngol. 1971;93(5):505–510. doi:10.1001/archotol.1971.00770060751013
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