Mitta Sreenivasulu1, V. Krishna Chaitanya2

For many ENT-clinicians, it is very difficult to diagnose the stage of infection and options available for treating retropharyngeal space abscesses (RPSAs) with very limited literature available to focus on the treatment options in limited resource setup. The main cutting edge of the study aims to correlate post-surgical complications of RPSAs and also to know the age related incidence.

MATERIALS AND METHODS A prospective and retrospective study was undertaken in the Department of ENT, Narayana Medical College & General Hospital, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh during the period of 2011-15. The incumbent laboratory parameters like throat swab culture was done for all the suspected patients along with Complete blood counts (CBC) & X-ray neck.

RESULTS A total sixty suspected paediatric patients were prospectively and retrospectively studied for the period of four years, out of which males 35 and females were 25 respectively. The mean age of the patient was 8.96±1.25 years (IQR 4-14 years) median age was 10 years. Radiological examination and Computed tomography (CT) scan was done for greater accuracy. Blocked airway is most common postsurgical intervention and it was found to be statistically significant (p<0.00) with respect to lower age group of the population.

CONCLUSION The present study concludes that proper positioning and avoidance of unnecessary manipulation is essential for preventing the postoperative complications of RPSAs. The spread of infection to the spine can lead to replicate the osteomyelitis and vertebral erosion, which in turn results in subluxation and subsequent spinal cord injury, rupture of the abscess with inhalation of contents can lead to aspiration pneumonia (or rarely asphyxiation) and spread of infection to mediastinum can lead to mediastinitis. More research could be intervened to prevent the infections at poor resource setup.