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VOLUME 13 , ISSUE 3 ( September-December, 2021 ) > List of Articles


A Delayed Diagnosis of a Retropharyngeal Abscess in a 38-day-old Neonate: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

Vasilios Chalkiadakis, Sofia Stamataki, Theodoros Pantazopoulos

Keywords : Retropharyngeal abscess, Neonate, Complications

Citation Information : Chalkiadakis V, Stamataki S, Pantazopoulos T. A Delayed Diagnosis of a Retropharyngeal Abscess in a 38-day-old Neonate: A Case Report and Review of the Literature. Int J Otorhinolaryngol Clin 2021; 13 (3):129-132.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10003-1395

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 21-04-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2021; The Author(s).


Objectives: Retropharyngeal abscess is very rare in neonates. Its clinical presentation, severity, and management may share different characteristics when compared to young children or adults. Precise physical examination can be difficult and imaging may be required. Management of this clinical entity includes both intravenous antibiotic therapy and surgical drainage. The aim of this case report is to evaluate clinical presentation and management of retropharyngeal abscesses in neonates. Methods: We report the case of a delayed diagnosis of a retropharyngeal abscess in a 38-day-old neonate that was admitted to the emergency department of our hospital. Results: Interestingly, our patient had not been diagnosed at the first examination due to insidious clinical symptoms. This reminds us the importance of accurate history and detailed clinical examination. His condition deteriorated gradually. Although surgical drainage of the abscess was performed as soon as it was diagnosed, postoperative complications were not avoided. Conclusion: A retropharyngeal abscess remains a life-threating condition, with high mortality and morbidity. In neonates, diagnosis is challenging due to the variety of symptoms. Given the higher incidence of airway obstruction in these patients, early surgical intervention is usually essential. When complications are present, a multidisciplinary approach is required.

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