RETROPHARYNGEAL ABSCESS: A CLINICAL STUDY

Rehman Ghani, Ghulam Nabi, Khawar Shehzad

Abstract


Retropharyngeal abscesses are more common in children than the adult population. This is a potentially lethal
infection in the Paediatric population under the age of five years. Abscesses in this group are secondary to upper
respiratory tract infection. In the adult group they are usually secondary to trauma, foreign bodies or as a
complication of dental infections. We have treated 12 cases of Retropharyngeal Abscesses between 1990 to 1998 in
our department. Factors such as age, sex, aetiology, presenting signs & symptoms, methods of diagnosis, treatment
and complications are reviewed. A lateral neck film showing widening of the prevertebral space was the most
diagnostic tool. Ten cases required surgical drainage. The other two were completely cured with parenteral broad
spectrum Antibiotics. The most commonly isolated pathogen was streptococcus pyogenes. There were no deaths and
only one recurrence required repeated surgical drainage.

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