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August 1915


Am J Dis Child. 1915;X(2):104-109. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1915.04110020029006

Ordinarily a retropharyngeal abscess is easily diagnosed, an incision made from within the mouth, the pus evacuated, and an uninterrupted recovery results. In some cases, however, where there is only a retropharyngeal adenitis, no pus may be obtained by the first incision, but may be obtained later when the adenitis has broken down; or, again, the patient may recover without a second operation. In still another class of cases, incision yields little or no pus, the symptoms of fever and pain on swallowing continue, the patient becomes more septic in appearance, the tumefaction seen from within the oral cavity remains the same, while the external swelling usually increases in size. In these cases, the signs may continue unabated or may become progressively worse for weeks, even after repeated, usually unsuccessful, incisions from within the mouth, until a deep external operation is made, when, as a rule, considerable pus is evacuated

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