European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 270, Issue 1, pp 371–374

Tuberculous retropharyngeal abscess presenting with symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea

Case Report

DOI: 10.1007/s00405-012-2227-9

Cite this article as:
Patel, A.B. & Hinni, M.L. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol (2013) 270: 371. doi:10.1007/s00405-012-2227-9


Chronic retropharyngeal abscess (RPA) caused by tuberculosis is an uncommon manifestation of extrapulmonary tuberculosis within the head and neck. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in adults is a common condition with many etiologies that have been well described. Here, we present a case of retropharyngeal abscess caused by chronic tuberculosis with an unusual and interesting presenting symptom in an adult that has not been mentioned in literature, new-onset and worsening stertor or snoring, with signs and symptoms of OSA. The purpose of this manuscript is to present our experience with this case, as well as to emphasize the diagnosis, clinical course, and management of tuberculous retropharyngeal abscess in adults, while also signifying the need to include retropharyngeal abscess in the differential diagnosis for symptoms presenting as new-onset stertor and airway obstruction.


Retropharyngeal abscessTuberculosisObstructive sleep apneaSnoringChronic diseaseAdult

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck SurgeryMayo Clinic HospitalPhoenixUSA