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|Right sided peritonsillar abscess
||"Fever, throat pain, trouble opening the mouth, change to the voice
||Blockage of the airway, "aspiration pneumonitis
||Multiple types of "bacteria
||Based on the symptoms
||"Retropharyngeal abscess, "infectious mononucleosis, "epiglottitis, cancer
||Remove pus, "antibiotics, fluids, "pain medication, "steroids
||~3 per 10,000 per year (USA)
Peritonsillar abscess (PTA), also known as a quinsy, is "pus due to an "infection behind the "tonsil. Symptoms include "fever, throat pain, "trouble opening the mouth, and a change to the voice. Pain is usually worse on one side. Complications may include blockage of the airway or "aspiration pneumonitis.
They are typically due to infection by a number of types of "bacteria. Often it follows "streptococcal pharyngitis. They do not typically occur in those who have had a "tonsillectomy. Diagnosis is usually based on the symptoms. "Medical imaging may be done to rule out complications.
Treatment is by removing the pus, "antibiotics, sufficient fluids, and "pain medication. "Steroids may also be useful. Admission to hospital is generally not needed. In the United States about 3 per 10,000 people per year are affected. Young adults are most commonly affected.
Signs and symptoms
Unlike "tonsillitis, which is more common in the children, PTA has a more even age spread, from children to adults. Symptoms start appearing two to eight days before the formation of an "abscess. A progressively severe sore throat on one side and pain during swallowing ("odynophagia) usually are the earliest symptoms. As the abscess develops, persistent pain in the peritonsillar area, "fever, "a general sense of feeling unwell, headache and a distortion of vowels informally known as "hot potato voice" may appear. Neck pain associated with "tender, swollen lymph nodes, referred ear pain and "foul breath are also common. While these signs may be present in tonsillitis itself, a PTA should be specifically considered if there is limited ability to open the mouth ("trismus).
Physical signs of a peritonsillar abscess include "redness and "swelling in the tonsillar area of the affected side and swelling of the "jugulodigastric lymph nodes. The "uvula may be displaced towards the unaffected side.
PTA usually arises as a complication of an untreated or partially treated episode of acute tonsillitis. The infection, in these cases, spreads to the peritonsillar area (peritonsillitis). This region comprises loose connective tissue and is hence susceptible to formation of an abscess. PTA can also occur de novo. Both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria can be causative. Commonly involved aerobic pathogens include "Streptococcus, "Staphylococcus and "Haemophilus. The most common anaerobic species include "Fusobacterium necrophorum, "Peptostreptococcus, "Prevotella species, and "Bacteroides.
Peritonsillar abscess on the person's right as seen on CT imaging
Diagnosis is usually based on the symptoms. "Medical imaging may be done to rule out complications. Medical imaging may include "CT scan, "MRI, or "ultrasound is also useful in diagnosis.
Treatment is by removing the pus, "antibiotics, sufficient fluids, and "pain medication. "Steroids may also be useful. Admission to hospital is generally not needed.
The infection is frequently penicillin resistant. There are a number of antibiotics options including "amoxicillin/clavulanate, "clindamycin, or "metronidazole in combination with "benzylpenicillin (penicillin G) or "penicillin V. "Piperacillin/tazobactam may also be used.
The pus can be removed by a number of methods including "needle aspiration, "incision and drainage, and "tonsillectomy.
Treatment can also be given while a patient is under anesthesia, but this is usually reserved for children or anxious patients. "Tonsillectomy can be indicated if a patient has recurring peritonsillar abscesses or a history of tonsillitis. For patients with their first peritonsillar abscess most ENT-surgeons prefer to "wait and observe" before recommending tonsillectomy.
- "Retropharyngeal abscess
- Extension of abscess in other deep neck spaces leading to airway compromise; see "Ludwig's angina
- Glomerulonephritis and rheumatic fever (strep throat chronic complications)
- Decreased oral intake and dehydration
It is a commonly encountered "otorhinolaryngological (ENT) emergency.
The number of new cases per year of peritonsillar abscess in the "United States has been estimated approximately at 30 cases per 100,000 people. In a study in "Northern Ireland, the number of new cases was 10 cases per 100,000 people per year. In "Denmark, the new number of new cases is higher and reaches 41 cases per 100,000 people per year. Younger children who develop a peritonsillar abscess are often immunocompromised and in them, the infection can cause airway obstruction.
The condition is often referred to as "quincy", "quinsy", or "quinsey", anglicised versions of the French word esquinancie which was originally rendered as squinsey and subsequently quinsy.
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