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April 1944


Arch Otolaryngol. 1944;39(4):344-347. doi:10.1001/archotol.1944.00680010358011

Retropharyngeal abscess always causes much suffering of the patient and usually results in anxious moments for the family and the doctor. Moreover, retroesophageal and mediastinal extension probably occurs more often than is realized. It is always highly desirable, when possible, to determine whether such extension has occurred by means of lateral roentgenograms of the neck.

Retropharyngeal abscess is not especially common, nor is it uncommon. In hospital and private practice in the past fifteen years we have dealt with 27 patients showing this lesion. Thirteen of these patients were between 6 months and 5 years of age. Only 6 were adults (between the ages of 17 and 65). The remainder were children between 5 and 15 years of age. Sixteen of the 27 patients were female. The mortality was 3.7 per cent; that is, only 1 patient of the 27 died. Mediastinitis caused the death.

The dramatic impact of a

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