Retropharyngeal space infections are relatively rare since the widespread use of modern antibiotics. In children, retropharyngeal space infections usually occur following an upper respiratory tract infection, while in adults they are usually caused by trauma, foreign bodies or extension from adjacent spaces. The authors reviewed 12 patients with retropharyngeal space infection between July 1996 and June 2002. Age, sex, duration of symptoms and hospitalization time, clinical presentation, etiology, underlying disease, bacteriology, treatment and complications were analyzed. Widening of the prevertebral soft tissue as seen on a plain film of the lateral neck was the most important diagnostic tool.
Fever was the most common symptom (91.6%) and showed a high prevalence in adult populations (66.6%). Half of the cases were caused by ingestion of a foreign body, Nine cases underwent surgical drainage which was positive in eight cases (88.8%). Staph. aureus, K. pneumoniae and Enterobacter species were the predominant pathogens. Early diagnosis and appropriate use of antibiotics lessened morbidity. Only two cases had postoperative complications and both recovered.
Keyword : Keywords : Retropharyngeal space, Infection