Journal of Clinical Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
The Busan, Ulsan, Gyeoungnam Branch of Korean Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Acute Phlegmonous Esophagitis as a Complication of Retropharyngeal Abscess

Sang Hoon Lee1, Jinchoon Lee2, Geun Hyung Park1, Soo Kweon Koo1,*
1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Busan Saint Mary’s Hospital, Busan, Korea
2Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Yangsan, Korea
*교신저자: 구수권, 48575 부산시광역시 남구 용호로232번길 25-14 부산성모병원 이비인후과 전화: (051) 933-7214·전송: (051) 956-1956 E-mail:

© Copyright 2018 The Busan, Ulsan, Gyeoungnam Branch of Korean Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Jan 24, 2018; Revised: Apr 03, 2018; Accepted: May 21, 2018

Published Online: May 31, 2020


Phlegmon refers to a spreading diffuse inflammation of connective tissue with formation of an exudate or pus. Phlegmonous infections may affect any region of the gastrointestinal tract. The stomach is the region most frequently involved; infections at other sites have been but rarely reported. Acute phlegmonous esophagitis is a very rare disease involving both the submucosal and muscular layers of the esophagus, with sparing of the mucosal layer. Acute esophageal esophagitis is commonly associated with acute phlegmonous gastritis; any association with a deep neck infection is very rare. We report herein a case of acute phlegmonous esophagitis developing as a complication of a retropharyngeal abscess treated via incision and drainage and prescription of longterm antibiotics. Thus, we did not perform esophageal surgery. We also review the relevant literature. (J Clinical Otolaryngol 2018;29:119-122)

Keywords: Retropharyngeal abscess; Esophagitis; Airway obstruction