, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 84-86

CT findings of descending necrotising mediastinitis via the carotid space (’Lincoln Highway')

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A 3-year-old girl with fever and neck swelling showed widening of the superior mediastinum on chest radiographs. Contrast-enhanced CT of the neck revealed ill-defined low-attenuation areas with a thick, enhanced rim adjacent to the hypertrophied palatine tonsil. The abscess extended inferiorly within the carotid sheath between the carotid artery and the internal jugular vein into the anterior mediastinum. The carotid space is considered an important conduit of descending necrotising mediastinitis and is called the ’Lincoln Highway' as previously suggested.

Received: 24 March 1999/Accepted: 13 March 2000