Lateral Pharyngeal Space

The lateral pharyngeal space is continuous with the carotid sheath. Involvement of this space may follow pharyngitis, tonsillitis, otitis, parotitis, and odontogenic infections. Anterior compartment involvement is characterized by fever, chills, pain, tremors, and swelling below the angle of the jaw. Posterior compartment infection is characterized by septicemia, often with few local signs. Other complications include edema of the larynx, asphyxiation, internal carotid artery, and erosion internal jugular vein thrombosis. Close observation is mandatory and tracheostomy may be required. Surgical drainage and parenteral antibiotic therapy are needed.

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