2011 Volume 32 Issue 3 Pages 401-404
Retropharyngeal abscess (RPA) is a severe inflammation in small children that follows retropharyngeal lymphadenitis in the retropharyngeal space. We experienced a case in which the retropharyngeal abscess perforated the external auditory canal. The patient was 17-month-old girl with persistent fever. She underwent intravenous medical treatments, but no improvement was observed. The anterior wall of her right external auditory canal swelled on the fifth hospital day, and pus was extracted upon incision. Computed tomography of the head and neck revealed that the lesion had advanced to the upper parotid space through the secondary parapharyngeal space. Surgical incision of the abscess was carried out under general anesthesia on the same day. The postoperative course was good and no recurrence has been observed since.
The bony part of external auditory canal in children is undeveloped, and the defect is known as the foramen of Huschke. It has been reported that inflammation of the external auditory canal spreads to the neck through this foramen. In this case, no inflammation had been found in the middle ear or parotid grand, and it was believed that the retropharyngeal abscess spread directly to the external auditory canal through this route.