Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Retropharyngeal Abscess Overview

What is a retropharyngeal abscess?
A person with a retropharyngeal abscess has a collection of pus beneath the tissue in the back of the throat, caused by a bacterial infection. The most common cause of retropharyngeal abscess is streptococcal bacteria, which also cause strep throat.

What are the symptoms of a retropharyngeal abscess?
Symptoms of a retropharyngeal abscess include a severe sore throat, difficulty swallowing, fever, headache, fatigue and swollen glands in the neck. Symptoms of a worsening retropharyngeal abscess may include neck pain, inability to swallow, drooling, difficulty breathing, and excessive sleepiness.

How does the doctor treat a retropharyngeal abscess?
Treatment for a retropharyngeal abscess may include oxygen therapy, intravenous fluids, antibiotics, narcotic pain medications, and surgery.

Continue to Retropharyngeal Abscess Symptoms

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Retropharyngeal Abscess References
  1. Al-Sabah B, Bin Salleen H, Hagr A, Choi-Rosen J, Manoukian JJ, Tewfik TL. Retropharyngeal abscess in children: 10-year study. J Otolaryngol. 2004 Dec;33(6):352-5. [15971649]
  2. Craig FW, Schunk JE. Retropharyngeal abscess in children: clinical presentation, utility of imaging, and current management. Pediatrics. 2003 Jun;111(6 Pt 1):1394-8. [12777558]
  3. Philpott CM, Selvadurai D, Banerjee AR. Paediatric retropharyngeal abscess. J Laryngol Otol. 2004 Dec;118(12):919-26. [15667676]
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