A Bezold abscess is a complication of acute otomastoiditis where the infection erodes through the cortex medial to the attachment of sternocleidomastoid, at the attachment site of the posterior belly of the digastric muscle, and extends into the infratemporal fossa. Due to it being deep to the investing layer of the deep cervical fascia that envelops the sternocleidomastoid muscle and trapezius muscle, it is impalpable.
As the mastoid air cells pneumatise late in childhood, a Bezold abscess is seen usually in the adult population where the cortex is thinner.
History and etymology
This condition is named after Friedrich Bezold, German otologist, (1842-1908).