Retropharyngeal abscess in a 56-year old man – a rare complication of odontogenic inflammatory state. Author’s own proposal for effective drainage

Maciej Sikora, Marcin Sielski, Agata Stąpor, Dariusz Chlubek


Retropharyngeal abscess in adults occurs rarely. In a small number of patients it arises as a complication of odontogenic inflammation, as in the case we describe. The key task in the treatment of patients with retropharyngeal abscess is to make the correct diagnosis.

The image examination of choice in adult patients with suspected retropharyngeal abscess should be computed tomography with contrast. After making the correct diagnosis it is necessary to initiate the appropriate treatment (conservative 

or surgical). In cases treated surgically the effective and free approach to retropharyngeal space is transcervical access. The effective drainage of the retropharyngeal space using the rinsing drain devised by the authors enabled the total evacuation of residual suppurative content and prevented dangerous complications, such as descending necrotic mediastinitis, leading to the recovery of the patient.


computed tomography with contrast; drainage of retropharyngeal space; retropharyngeal abscess; rinsing drain

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