CLINICAL HISTORY.—Case 1.—A 19-month-old girl developed parotid swelling, one week before admission. This increased and spontaneously ruptured, draining pus one day before admission. Her admission physical examination revealed a posterior triangle neck abscess near the ear. On the day of admission the abscess was drained surgically. A neck roentgenogram was obtained. (Fig. 1).
Case 2.—This 4-year-old white boy fell, three days prior to admission, impaling a tinker toy stick into the posterior pharynx. He then developed swelling, high-pitched speech, fever, and increasing stiffness of the neck. Admission physical examination revealed an acutely ill child with a temperature of 100F (37.8C) rectally, and woody cellulitis extending from the mandible to the suprasternal notch. His head was held in a rigid position and he was unable to open his mouth. A neck roentgenogram was obtained (Fig. 2).
Denouement and Discussion
Both retropharyngeal abscesses were drained through a lateral neck