Bilateral peritonsillar abscess: a case series


  • Ng Chun Tau Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Hospital Queen Elizabeth, Sabah, Malaysia
  • Ahmad Nordin Afandi Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Hospital Queen Elizabeth, Sabah, Malaysia



Peritonsillar abscess, Pharyngitis, Tonsillitis


Peritonsillar abscess (PTA) is one of the most common deep neck abscesses. Unlike unilateral peritonsillar abscess, bilateral peritonsillar abscess is rather rare. We report 3 cases of bilateral peritonsillar abscess which were proven by either computerized tomography imaging or needle aspiration. One of the patients was treated with intravenous antibiotics and corticosteroid. The other 2 patients underwent needle aspiration for confirmation of diagnosis and subsequent incision and drainage. All patients were treated successfully with complete resolution. Bilateral PTA should always be considered when there is presence of bilateral peritonsillar swelling with non-deviated uvula and trismus. Despite surgical drainage being the most common management, the option of medical therapy alone may be sufficient. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of bilateral PTA reported being treated successfully with medical therapy.


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Case Reports