Retropharyngeal Abscess

10 years old boy came with:


1. Pain while swallowing - 5 days

Pain was getting progressively more. He was not even able to swallow his saliva.

2. Fever - 3 days


Reddish swelling seen in the posterior pharyngeal wall.

X-ray soft tissue neck lateral view: showed

1. Prevertebral shadow with gas bubbles seen

2. Straightening of spine (Ram rod spine) due to muscular spasm


Discussion: The commonest cause of retropharyngeal abscess in children is suppuration of retropharyngeal lymph node (Henle's node).


The abscess was drained under local anesthesia with head positioned at a lower level to prevent aspiration.

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