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Retropharyngeal abscess in a 3-month-old infant: A rare entity

1 Professor, Department of ENT, INHS Asvini, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Junior Resident (II), Department of ENT, INHS Asvini, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
3 Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, INHS Asvini, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
4 Professor, Department of Paediatrics, INHS Asvini, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
5 Professor, Department of Radiodiagnosis, INHS Asvini, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
6 Professor, Department of ENT, INHS Asvini, Mohammad Zubair Akhtar – Junior Resident (I), Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
7 Department of ENT, INHS Asvini, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Tanuj Madan,
Department of ENT, INHS Asvini, Near RC Church, Colaba, Mumbai - 400 005, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmms.jmms_82_19

Retropharyngeal abscess (RPA) is a rare infective pathology of deep neck spaces affecting young children and adults. In view of scarce literature availability and atypical presentation in infants, often lacking fever or lymphadenopathy, it poses a definitive diagnostic dilemma to the clinicians. It should be kept in mind for all infants presenting with respiratory distress. History should be carefully taken for any upper respiratory tract infections or nasal discharge preceding the illness. Prompt airway control is of paramount importance, since there is a higher prevalence of airway compromise in infants and early surgical intervention is therefore indicated. Usually, intraoral approach is sufficient for incision and drainage. Here, we present a rare case of RPA in a 3-month-old infant in whom early radiological investigations, especially contrast-enhanced computerized tomography/noncontrast head computerized tomography helped not only in timely diagnosis but also in planning of surgery. A multidisciplinary, integrated strategy of pediatrician, neurosurgeon, microbiologist, radiologist, and otorhinolaryngologist is ideal for patient care.

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