ORL: journal for oto-rhino-laryngology and its related specialties, 69(1):37-42, 2007
ORL: journal for oto-rhino-laryngology and its related specialties
Parapharyngeal infections are rare, but they cause serious morbidity and mortality. Therefore, until now, the recommended treatment of parapharyngeal abscess has been early open surgical drainage. The purpose of this study is to review the clinical course and outcome of treatment in parapharyngeal abscess according to method of treatment. A prospective study was designed for parapharyngeal abscess in patients admitted for deep neck infection. During an 8-year period, from June 1994 to January 2003, 34 patients were enrolled. All had contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) imaging and confirmation of an abscess in the parapharyngeal space. All patients were treated with intravenous antibiotics. We treated 19 cases (conservative group) with antibiotics only or needle aspiration and 15 (surgical group) with intraoral or external drainage. The mean duration of hospitalization was 8.2 days in the conservative group and 11.6 days in the surgical group. There was no complication except mediastinitis in 1 case of the conservative group. Because of severe dyspnea, 5 patients required tracheotomy. Neck CT scan is a useful diagnostic tool to detect and establish the treatment plan of parapharyngeal abscess. Parapharyngeal abscess may, in some cases, respond to antibiotics, become localized to the parapharyngeal space and be treated conservatively with no need for early open surgical drainage.
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