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Lingual tonsil abscess with parapharyngeal extension: A case report

| Reprints
September 18, 2014
by Andrew M. Coughlin, MD; Reginald F. Baugh, MD; Harold S. Pine, MD

Abstract

Lingual tonsil abscess is a rare disorder previously reported only once in the English literature. Because of their similar structure to that of the palatine tonsils, the lingual tonsils have the propensity to develop infection in the same way. The progression of infection, however, is different in that the lingual tonsils lack a capsule, thus preventing the formation of a peritonsillar abscess. Therefore, the only place for infection to spread is either into the tongue or into the parapharyngeal space. Here we present our experience with the latter, and we provide radiographic evidence of the disease. Lingual tonsil abscess, although rare, is an important potential cause of airway obstruction and must be considered in the case of a sore throat with a normal oropharyngeal exam.

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