What is the global prevalence of retropharyngeal abscess (RPA)?

Updated: Jan 08, 2021
  • Author: Joseph H Kahn, MD; Chief Editor: Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD, FACEP  more...
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A review of deep neck infections (DNI) in children over a 12-year period at a medical center in Taiwan revealed 50 children with DNI. Nine children had DNI in the retropharyngeal space, 17 in the parapharyngeal space, 21 in the peritonsillar region, and 3 were mixed. [19]

Another study from Taiwan, by Huang et al, found that out of 52 children with DNI, the retropharyngeal space was the third most common site of infection (7 patients), after the parapharyngeal space (22 patients) and the submandibular space (12 patients). [20]

A review of RPAs and parapharyngeal abscesses (PPAs) in children presenting to 2 pediatric tertiary care medical centers in Israel over an 11-year period revealed 39 children with RPA or PPA. The incidence increased during the course of the study. [21]

A retrospective analysis of children diagnosed with RPA and PPA over a 9-year period in a tertiary care medical center in Spain revealed 17 children with RPA, 11 with PPA, and 3 with both. [22]

Another Spanish study, a retrospective, single-center report by Sanz Sánchez and Morales Angulo, found the incidence of RPA over an approximately 25-year period to be 0.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per year. [23]

A study by Yap et al found that in Wales, hospital admissions for RPA, as well as for tonsillitis, PPA, and peritonsillar abscess, rose between 1999 and 2014. [24]

A retrospective review at a single center in Scotland revealed that the number of deep neck space abscesses grew between 2006 and 2015 from 1 to 15, respectively. [25]

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