Which physical findings are characteristic of a retropharyngeal abscess (RPA) in infants and children?

Updated: Jan 08, 2021
  • Author: Joseph H Kahn, MD; Chief Editor: Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Physical signs in infants and children [3, 4, 5, 33]

  • Cervical adenopathy 

  • Retropharyngeal bulge - Do not palpate in children

  • Fever 

  • Stridor 

  • Torticollis 

  • Neck stiffness or limited neck movement 

  • Drooling 

  • Agitation 

  • Neck mass 

  • Lethargy 

  • Respiratory distress 

  • Trismus [4]

  • Dysphonia

  • Tonsillar displacement

  • Associated signs, including tonsillitis, peritonsillitis, pharyngitis, and otitis media


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