Fascial Spaces and Surgical Access to Trachea – Neck

by Craig Canby, PhD

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    Now, we’re going to transition over to fascial spaces. There are three spaces that can form between the deep fascial layers. We’re going to be able to see two of these areas very, very well. The third unfortunately is not well-illustrated in the image but we’ll make note of the fact that it does exist. First, we have the pretracheal space. The pretracheal space is shown anterior to the visceral compartment. That’s why it’s anterior to the trachea in this particular view. A second space is shown right in through here. This is referred to as the retropharyngeal space. Then it lies between the visceral compartment and its sheath and the vertebral compartment and its deep fascial layer. The third space is the prevertebral space. That space would be the deep fascial layer that exists over the anterior portion of the body of related vertebra and the anterior part of its transverse process. This is a bilaminar area so there’s a space between it. Unfortunately, it is not well-illustrated in this particular image but it is one to keep in mind. Why are these fascial spaces important? Well, one area of clinical correlation or relevance here is that infections and we’ll use the pretracheal space right in through here, if there’s an infection in this area, it may extend inferiorly and reach the anterior mediastinum. A second clinical consideration is if invasion occurs, that is invasion of a cancer, the cancer can spread into any one of these three potential fascial spaces. A third and final consideration here is with respect to the retropharyngeal space, this space right in through here. If there’s an infection here, this can spread inferiorly and in fact to the posterior mediastinum and that could then form an abscess in this particular retropharyngeal space as...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Fascial Spaces and Surgical Access to Trachea – Neck by Craig Canby, PhD is from the course Head and Neck Anatomy. It contains the following chapters:

    • Fascial Spaces
    • Surgical Access to Trachea

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Pretracheal space
    2. Retropharyngeal space
    3. None of these
    4. Retrotracheal space
    5. Prevertebral space
    1. Visceral compartment and vertebral compartment
    2. Visceral compartment and vascular compartment
    3. Prevertebral deep fascial layer and superficial fascia
    4. Pretracheal deep fascial layer and carotid sheath
    5. Vascular compartment and vertebral compartment
    1. Posterior mediastinum
    2. Middle mediastinum
    3. Superior mediastinum
    4. Danger space
    5. Anterior mediastinum
    1. Posterior mediastinum
    2. Anterior mediastinum
    3. Carotid space
    4. Pretracheal space
    5. Masticator space
    1. Horizontal incision of cricothyroid membrane
    2. Vertical incision of cricothyroid membrane
    3. Incision below the isthmus of thyroid gland
    4. Incision of cricoid cartilage
    5. Incision of thyroid cartilage of larynx

    Author of lecture Fascial Spaces and Surgical Access to Trachea – Neck

     Craig Canby, PhD

    Craig Canby, PhD

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    Tidy, but a little cursory!
    By Cassandra J. on 01. May 2017 for Fascial Spaces and Surgical Access to Trachea – Neck

    A clear and concise overview of the fascial spaces. However, I think the coverage of the surgical access to the trachea was way too superficial. Details of the levels of relevant anatomical zones, and how to locate these areas in a clinical manner would've been greatly appreciated. Otherwise very useful!