What is the focus of clinical history in suspected deep neck infections?

Updated: Apr 30, 2020
  • Author: Alan D Murray, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Obtain a detailed history from patients in whom deep neck space infection is suspected. Eliciting a history of the following is important:

  • Pain

  • Recent dental procedures

  • Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs)

  • Neck or oral cavity trauma

  • Respiratory difficulties

  • Dysphagia

  • Immunosuppression or immunocompromised status

  • Rate of onset

  • Duration of symptoms

The aforementioned study by Shimizu et al found that in patients with deep neck infection, lymphadenitis was the most common preceding illness in children (73%), while in adults, it was the least common antecedent disease (7%). [19]


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