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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 14(4); 2003 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2003;14(4): 341-345.
Retrospective Clinical Review of Deep Neck Infections (abscesses)
Sung Jun Park, Sin Chul Kim, Myung Chun Kim, Young Gwan Ko
Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea. edkmc@chollian.net
This study was performed to review our experience with deep neck infections (DNI) in an emergency center.
Over a 60-month period, 32 consecutive patients with DNI were included in the study. Variables included in the data analysis were age, sex, clinical symptoms and signs, and laboratory findings on initial presentation. Both DNI and NDNI (Non-deep neck infections; acute tonsillitis, acute oropharyngitis) groups were examined clinically, and blood samples were taken and studied for several parameters associated with infection, including C-reactive protein levels; the findings were analyzed statistically for differences between the groups.
A retrospective review was conducted of 32 patients with deep neck infections. Based on clinical and radiologic findings, these patients were categorized as retropharyngeal space, parapharyngeal space, sublingual space, submandibular space, or multiple space. The most common symptoms were fever (78%) and sore throat (53%), followed by dysphagia (47%), trismus (38%), and neck swelling (31%). No particular background variables were associated with DNI; however, a particularly high CRP level on admission was found to be associated with DNI (p<0.05).
We should distinguish deep neck infections from non deep neck infections in the emergency department. This study showed that determination of the CRP level may be useful in making a clinical diagnosis of deep neck infections.
Key words: Deep neck infections, Emergency department, C-reactive protein
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