• Rehman Ghani
  • Ghulam Nabi
  • Khawar Shehzad


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


Coulthard M, Isaacs D. Retropharyngeal abscess.

Archives of Disease in Childhood 1991 ;66: 1227-

De Clereq LD, Chole RA. Retropharyngeal abscess in

the adult. Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery


Goldenberg DA. Golz HZ, Husaru J, Nedzelski. JM.

Retropharyngeal abscess and upper airway obstruction.

Journal of Otolaryngology 1979; 8: 443-447.

Manjusha GJ, Edwards MS. Clinical indicators of

childhood retropharyngeal abscess. American journal

of Emergency Medicine 1995; 13:333-336

Pickles JM. Retropharyngeal abscess complicating a

neck wound (A Case report). Journal of Laryngology

and Otology 1988; 102:552-553.

Har-EL PJ, Lucente FE. Retropharyngeal abscess:

Clinical review. Ear Nose Throat Journal 1995; 74:701-

Seid AB, Dunbar JS, Cotton RT. Retropharyngeal

abscesses in children revisited. Laryngoscope 1979; 89:


Wholey MH, Bruwer AJ, Baker HL. The lateral

roentgenogram of the neck. Radiology 1958; 71:350-

Wong YK. Novotny GM. Retropharyngeal space-A

review of anatomy, pathology and clinical presentation.

Journal of Otolaryngology 1978; 7:528-536

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 > >>