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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Peritonsillar Abscess: Prevention & Expectations
      Category : Health Centers > Throat Disorders

Peritonsillar Abscess

Alternate Names : Tonsillar Abscess, Quinsy, Quinsy Abscess

Peritonsillar Abscess | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What can be done to prevent the infection?

The only real way to prevent a peritonsillar abscess is to have the tonsils removed. Even people receiving antibiotics can develop a peritonsillar abscess. Usually it develops after several days of sore throat. Most viral sore throats resolve in 24 to 48 hours. If a sore throat lasts for more than about two days, the healthcare provider should be consulted.

What are the long-term effects of the infection?

One of the main concerns is the spread of the infection to nearby areas in the neck. It can spread into the parapharyngeal space. This space houses the carotid artery, the jugular vein, and several important nerves. A long-term infection here can weaken the carotid artery and jugular vein. It also can cause life threatening bleeding.

The infection can also descend into the chest. This causes infection in the soft tissue there, which is known as mediastinitis. Pus could also collect around the lungs. If it gets into the prevertebral space, it can go into the abdomen. Peritonsillar abscess can also cause an infected clot to form in the jugular vein. Small infected clots then spread throughout the body.

What are the risks to others?

A peritonsillar abscess is mildly contagious. The infection spreads from person to person through saliva and nasal discharges.

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Peritonsillar Abscess: Diagnosis & Tests


Peritonsillar Abscess: Treatment & Monitoring

Author: Mark Loury, MD
Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
Date Reviewed: 08/07/01

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