Giant pediatric tubercular retropharyngeal abscess: a rare case

Vinny Raheja, Manisha Kumari, Ashiya Goel, Aman .


A 9-year old child presented with tubercular retropharyngeal abscess leading to stridor. Tubercular retropharyngeal abscess is an extremely rare condition in children. Early management reduces the risk of lethal complications. Due to the absence of classical signs, the diagnosis may be delayed. Therefore, adequate radiological investigations and microbiological studies of aspirate must be done to rule out tubercular aetiology. Conservative medical management should be given in uncomplicated cases. Surgical drainage must be done in cases resistant to medical therapy or presenting with complications.


Tubercular, Retropharyngeal, Abscess, Stridor, Child

Full Text:



Echevarria J. Deep neck infections. In: Schlossberg D, editor. Infections of the head and neck. New York: Springer. 1987;172-4.

Grosso J, Myer CM, Wood BP. Radiological Cases of the Month. Am J Dis Child 1990;144:1349-50.

Kirse DJ, Roberson DW. Surgical management of retro pharyngeal space infection in children. Laryngoscope 2001;111:1413-22.

McLeod C, Stanley KA. Images in emergency medicine: retropharyngeal abscess. West J Emerg Med. 2008;9:55.

Mathur NN, Bais AS. Tubercular Retropharyngeal Abscess in Early Childhood. Ind J Pediatr. 1997;64:898-901.

Kamnath MP, Bhojwani KM, Kamnath SU, Mahabala C, Agarwal S. Tubercular Retropharyngeal Absces. Ear Nose Throat J. 2007;86:236-7.

Rice DH, Dimcheff DG, Benz R. Tsang AV. Retro-pharyngeal Abscess caused by Atypical Mycobacterium. Arch Otolaryngol. 1977;103(11):681-4.

Dhar MC, Chaudhari S, Pain S, Halder U, Chakraborty A, Basu K. Retropharyngeal tuberculosis abscess along with alcoholic hepatitis and pulmonary tuberculosis. Indian J Tuberc. 2002;49:159-60.

Moore SL, Rafi M. Imaging of musculoskeletal and spinal tuberculosis. Radiol Clin North Am. 2001;39:329-42.

Garg A, Wadhera R, Gulati SP, Singh J. Giant retropharyngeal abscess secondary to tubercular spondylitis. Indian J Tuberc. 2009;56:225-8.