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Radiological Case of the Month

John L. Gwinn, MD; Fred A. Lee, MD; John P. Canby, LtC, MC
Am J Dis Child. 1971;121(3):237-238. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1971.02100140103011.
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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 

Retropharyngeal Abscess  Both retropharyngeal abscesses were drained through a lateral neck


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