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February 1993

Needle Aspiration of Peritonsillar Abscess in Children

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otolaryngology (Drs Weinberg, Brodsky, Stanievich, and Volk) and Pediatrics (Drs Brodsky and Stanievich), State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and The Children's Hospital of Buffalo.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119(2):169-172. doi:10.1001/archotol.1993.01880140051009

• Needle aspiration for the treatment of peritonsillar abscess was assessed in 43 consecutive children aged 7 to 18 years (mean age, 13.9±2.5 years) during the 3-year period from 1988 through 1991. A positive aspirate was obtained in 31 (76%) of the 41 patients who cooperated for needle aspiration; a mean of 2.9±1.9 mL of pus was withdrawn. Of the 31 children with a positive aspirate, in 27 (87%) the abscess resolved, two (6%) required a second aspiration for resolution, and two (6%) underwent immediate tonsillectomy for persistent abscess. Of the 10 children (24%) with negative aspirations, in six (60%) the abscess resolved with antibiotic treatment alone, three (30%) underwent immediate (quinsy) tonsillectomy, and in one (10%) the abscess spontaneously drained. No bleeding, airway obstruction, or anesthetic complications occurred. Needle aspiration of peritonsillar abscess in children, with tonsillectomy reserved for nonresponders, appears to be an efficacious and safe method of treatment.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119:169-172)

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