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

인후강농양의 임상적 고찰

추무진1, 신시옥1, 홍성화1, 양승덕1, 김정환1
Moo Jin Choo1, See Ok Shin1, Sung Hwa Hong1, Seung Deok Yang1, Jeong Whan Kim1
1충북대학교 의과대학 이비인후과학교실
1Department of Otolaryngology, College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University

© Copyright 1994 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.

Published Online: May 31, 2020


The retropharyngeal abscess have largely been considered to be a disease of infancy, usually resulting from abscessed lymph nodes draining infections of the ears, nose, or throat. Because of their relative rarity and specific anatomical relationship, the retropharyngeal abscess may lethal due to mediastinitis, carotid artery rupture or sepsis despite appropriate antibiotics therapy and prompt surgical drainage.

Authors observed ten patients(male ; 6, female ; 4) of retropharyngeal abscess admitted in Chungbuk National University Hospital from January 1992 to January 1994. They were evaluated by retrospective clinical analysis.

The results were as follows:

  1. Almost patients were adult above 20 years old(80%), most often in 6th decade(50%).

  2. Most common etiology was acute upper respiratory infection(60%). Only one case was caused by odontogenic infection.

  3. Chief complaints were sore throat(80%), swallowing difficulty(80%), and progressive neck swelling(70%). Associated symptoms and signs were fever(50%), voice·change(50%), otalgia(30%), trismus(30%) and dyspnea(10%).

  4. Three patients had underlying disease, two patients had diabetes mellitus and one had cervical spine tuberculosis.

  5. Computed tomography was valuable for diagnosis, decision of treatment modality, and follow-up of disease progression.

  6. Most common pathogenic organism was hemolytic Streptococcus(41.7%), and mixed infections were observed in 2 cases.

  7. Surgical drainage was done in 7 cases, whereas only antibiotic therapy was done in 3 cases.

Keywords: Retropharyngeal abscess; Treatment modality; Computed tomography