Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Throat Abscess Underlying Cause

A retropharyngeal abscess is caused by an infection with bacteria. Once the bacteria enter the tissue underneath the surface of the throat, the body forms a wall around the tissue in order to fight the infection. An abscess is filled with pus, which is made up of infected tissue and white blood cells.

The infection can start in the throat, tonsils, ears, or sinuses, and then spreads through the lymph channels to the tissue under the surface of the throat.

Group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus bacteria is the most common cause for the infection.

Continue to Throat Abscess Anatomy

Last Updated: Oct 6, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Throat 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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