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Tendinitis of Longus Colli: Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and Clinical Spectra of 9 Cases

Paik, Nam Chull MD; Lim, Chun Soo MD; Jang, Ho Suk MD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: November/December 2012 - Volume 36 - Issue 6 - p 755–761
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e318269880c
Musculoskeletal Imaging

Objective The objective of this study was to describe the spectrum of computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and clinical manifestations of longus colli tendinitis.

Methods We retrospectively reviewed the clinical data, radiological features, and laboratory reports of 9 patients with tendinitis of longus colli who were seen between January 2009 and July 2011.

Results All 9 patients presented with pain and stiffness in the neck. Five patients presented within a week of symptom onset (acute), and 4 suffered for more than 1 month before presentation (subacute). Eight of 9 patients revealed a prevertebral effusion from C1 to C4 or C5. Calcific deposits were situated inferior to the anterior arch of C1 in 6 patients, although in 3 patients calcification could not be identified at all. All 5 acute patients experienced a complete resolution of symptoms within 5 days, whereas the 4 subacute patients recovered by 3 weeks.

Conclusions Longus colli tendinitis should be a prime diagnostic consideration in the patient who has neck pain, either acute or subacute, with associated range-of-motion limitation, and images of the cervical spine demonstrating prevertebral effusion with or without calcification anterior to C1-C2.

From the Departments of *Radiology and †Neurosurgery, Arumdaun Wooldul Spine Hospital, Ulsan, Republic of Korea.

Received for publication May 15, 2012; accepted July 12, 2012.

Reprints: Nam Chull Paik, MD, Department of Radiology, Arumdaun Wooldul Spine Hospital, 647-4 Sinjeong 2-dong, Nam-gu, Ulsan 680-828, Republic of Korea (e-mail:

No funds were received in support of this work. No benefits in any form have been or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this manuscript.

Copyright © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.