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Minimally invasive transoral catheter-assisted drainage of a danger-space infection

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December 1, 2005
by Robert T. Adelson, MD; Alan D. Murray, MD
We report the case of a 3-year-old boy who was brought to the emergency department for evaluation of a prolonged upper respiratory infection and diminished neck movement. Computed tomography identified a unilocular abscess extending from the level of C2 inferiorly to the diaphragm at the level of the T9 vertebral body. We successfully treated this transcervical, transthoracic infection surgically via a transoral approach to the retropharyngeal abscess combined with catheter drainage and irrigation of the abscess cavity at a depth of 13 cm. At 25 months of follow-up, the patient exhibited no evidence of recurrent disease or postsurgical complications. In this article, we describe our minimally invasive technique for managing unusual deep-space neck infections in children.

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