Two compartments: Medial and lateral retropharyngeal.
Medial retropharyngeal receives drainage from nasal pharynx and oral pharynx and drains to high internal jugular chain.
Lateral retropharyngeal (nodes of Rouvierre) are located just medial to the internal carotid artery. Drainage is the same as for the medial retropharyngeal nodes.
Early sign of nasal pharyngeal cancer may be presence of abnormal lateral retropharyngeal node in the patient over forty.