What Are the Potential Complications of a Retropharyngeal Abscess?

Discussion Retropharyngeal abscesses (RPA) occur in the potential space bound anterior to the prevertebral fascia, posterior to the pharyngeal constrictor muscles and their fascia and laterally by the carotid sheaths and parapharyngeal space (another potential space lying laterally to the pharynx). The retropharyngeal potential space runs superiorally from the base of the skull to the mediastinum distally. It is the most common deep neck infection. In children under 4 years of age, retropharyngeal lymph nodes are present which regress after this age. RPA is most common in young children when these lymph nodes are present, with probable suppuration of these lymph nodes and extension of the infection. RPAs in children are most commonly preceded by an upper respiratory tract infection (45%) such as tonsillitis, pharyngitis, sinusitis or cervical lymphadenitis, a foreign body ingestion (27%) or idiopathic (28%) in one study. Adults have more history of trauma or instrumentation preceding RPA. The organisms most commonly associated with RPA are mixed oral flora with gram-positive organisms such as Streptococcus viridians, Staphylococcus aureus, and Staphylococcus epidermidis being common. Gram-negative organisms include Haemophilus influenza, Bacteroides species and Fusobacterium species. Similar organisms are seen in peritonsilar abscess also. It can be difficult to discern other common infections from RPA as many patients will show fever, decreased oral intake, neck lymphadeno...
Source: PediatricEducation.org - Category: Pediatrics Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

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Source: Expert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy - Category: Infectious Diseases Tags: Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther Source Type: research
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Source: Student Doctor Network - Category: Universities & Medical Training Authors: Tags: Pain Medicine Source Type: forums
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