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January 31, 1903


Author Affiliations

Instructor in Diseases of Children, Harvard Medical School; Assistant Visiting Physician at the City Hospital and at the Infants' Hospital. BOSTON.

JAMA. 1903;XL(5):281-284. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.92490050003001a

Retropharyngeal abscesses are usually divided into two classes : primary, or idiopathic, and secondary. The secondary class is made up of those due to disease of the vertebrae and of those due to the direct extension of abscesses from neighboring parts. The primary form is infinitely the more common in infancy and is the only one to be considered here. The greatest number of cases occur between four months and one year; 83 per cent. of Bókay's cases were under two years and 75 per cent. of Holt's under one year.

ANATOMY.  The retropharyngeal lymph nodes form a chain on both sides of the median line of the pharynx extending from its upper portion to its junction with the esophagus. They lie between the prevertebral aponeu-rosis and the muscles of the pharynx. In infancy they drain the cavities of the cranium, pharynx, nose and

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