New Approach in the Management of Adult Epiglottic Abscess—A Case Report (Short Report)


Background: Epiglottic abscess in an otherwise healthy adult is seen as a rare sequelae of acute epiglottitis. It is a life threatening condition which requires emergency management, which if not done early, may result in fatality. Respiratory infections, exposure to environmental chemical or trauma which may lead to inflammation and infection of the structures around the throat which may lead on to epiglottitis, and an epiglottis abscess very rarely. In our case, patient was immediately managed by doing an emergency tracheostomy followed by incision and drainage in the OPD (outpatient department). This emphasizes on need for emergency airway management by doing a tracheostomy there by facilitating incision and drainage in a case of epiglottic abscess as a daycare procedure. Aim: The primary aim of this clinical record is to emphasize the need for immediate airway management in epiglottic abscess there by facilitating incision and drainage as an OPD (out-patient department) Procedure. Case Presentation: A 45-year-old man presented to the OPD (outpatient department) with complaints of dysphagia, odynophagia, muffled voice, noisy breathing for the previous 7 hours. On clinical examination pt was in stridor & respiratory distress. Since the pt was in stridor, it was immediately shifted to the OT (operation theatre), and an emergency tracheostomy was done and the airway was secured, following which a video laryngoscopic examination was done in the OPD, which revealed oedematous enlarged epiglottis with pus pointing obscuring the laryngeal inlet. Abscess was incised and drained, and pus was sent for culture & sensitivity. Pt was treated with I. V (intravenous) antibiotics as per culture reports and subsequent video laryngoscopic examination revealed near normal epiglottis with an adequate laryngeal inlet. Conclusion: Patients with epiglottic abscess are at increased risk of airway compromise, hence in such patients airway should be immediately secured by doing an emergency tracheostomy. This case shows the benefits of an emergency tracheostomy for doing incision and drainage for epiglottic abscess as an OPD procedure.

Share and Cite:

Kalyanasundaram, R. , Balasubramanian, G. , Thirunavukkarasu, R. and Saroja Durairaju, P. (2015) New Approach in the Management of Adult Epiglottic Abscess—A Case Report. International Journal of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, 4, 290-295. doi: 10.4236/ijohns.2015.44050.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Harvey, M., Quagliotto, G. and Milne, N. (2012) Fatal Epiglottic Abscess after Radiotherapy for Laryngeal Carcinoma. American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology, 33, 297-299.
[2] Ellenbogen Ram, N.C., Raim, J. and Lytton, L. (1955) Abscess of the Epiglottis-Problem in Differential Diagnosis. JAMA, 159, 1289-1290.
[3] Berger, G., Landau, T., Berger, S., Finkelstein, Y., Bernheim, J. and Ophir, D. (2003) The Rising Incidence of Adult Acute Epiglottitis and Epiglottic Abscess. American Journal of Otolaryngology, 24, 374-383.
[4] Mayo-Smith, M.F., Spinale, J.W., Donskey, C.J., Yukawa, M., Li, R.H. and Sciffman, F.J. (1995) Aute Epiglottitis. The New England Journal of Medicine, 108, 1640-1647.
[5] Vaileadis, I., Kapetanakis, S., Vaileiadis, D., Petousis, A. and Karatzas, T. (2013) Epiglottic Abscess Causing Airway Obstruction in an Adult. Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan, 23, 673-675.
[6] Deepalakshmi, T., Devan, P.P. and Prasad, M. (2014) An Unusual Case of Acute Epiglottic Abscess. Iranian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology, 26, 56.
[7] Al-Qudah, M., Shetty, S., Alomari, M. and Alqdah, M. (2010) Acute Adult Supraglottitis: Current Management and Treatment. Southern Medical Journal, 103, 800-804.

Copyright © 2021 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.