Acute retropharyngeal abscess in adults: a case series


  • Inderdeep Singh Department of ENT, Command Hospital, Pune, India
  • Vikas Gupta Department of ENT, Command Hospital, Pune, India
  • Sunil Goyal Department of ENT, Command Hospital, Pune, India
  • Manoj Kumar Department of ENT, Command Hospital, Pune, India
  • Lakshmi Ranjit Department of ENT, Command Hospital, Pune, India
  • Salil Gupta Department of ENT, Command Hospital, Pune, India



Retropharyngeal abscess, Deep neck space infection, Retropharyngeal space


Retropharyngeal abscesses are uncommon but potentially lethal infections. In the adult group they are usually secondary to trauma, foreign bodies, or as a complication of dental infections. Early diagnosis and the wide spread use of antibiotics have made these infections less common today. High index of suspicion and clinical acumen is required to provisionally diagnose these cases. In the current era where empirical use of high end and advanced antibiotics is prevalent it is not surprising to find patients with highly resistant microbes, such cases present further difficulty to treat. For large retropharyngeal abscesses, surgical drainage remains the primary modality followed by aggressive targeted antibiotic therapy. We present three cases of deep neck space infections with primary focus in retropharyngeal space. All required surgical drainage and aggressive postoperative care. Extensive review of literature of retropharyngeal abscess in adults was done to derive characterizations about this disease. 

Author Biography

Inderdeep Singh, Department of ENT, Command Hospital, Pune, India

Asst Prof (Otolaryngology), Command Hospital Pune


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