Retropharyngeal abscess- An unusual complication in a COVID-19 patient

Moyosore D. Awobajo, Apeksha N. Agarwal, Sarah D. Hackman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has generated many challenges for physicians, including multiple long-term effects that are still being studied. We report a CASE of patient who developed a retropharyngeal abscess post-COVID19 infection. We report a CASE of a female who was diagnosed with COVID19 pneumonia and hospitalized for a week at an outside institute. Approximately 3 weeks post discharge she developed neck pain, dysphagia, voice change and odynophagia for which she went to an outside emergency department. A soft tissue neck CT was performed and was concerning for retropharyngeal abscess. The patient was then transferred to our institution. On arrival, a CT scan of the neck and nasopharyngoscopy were performed and biopsies of the epiglottis and right inferior tonsillar pole were taken. Biopsies of the epiglottis and tonsil showed acute inflammation, spongiosis, edema and marked dilation of the lymphatics. Her clinical course was complicated by persistent infection requiring multiple washouts, hyperglycemia, tube feed intolerance, dysphagia and deconditioning. A multi-disciplinary approach was instituted for appropriate management. This case report highlights the necessity for close follow up after recovery from COVID-19 infection, particularly in patients with multiple comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100312
JournalOtolaryngology Case Reports
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Diabetes
  • Larynx histopathology
  • Retropharyngeal abscess

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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