Peritonsillar abscess

Peritonsillar abscess or quinsy is the most common deep neck infection.

Peritonsillar abscesses are most common in 20-40 year olds with a predominance for males and for smokers. It is less common in children but immunosuppression increases the risk of development 2-3.

Peritonsillar abscesses are a collection of pus that lies between the tonsillar capsule and superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle. It is generally thought to result as a complication of tonsillitis and thus has a similar clinical presentation and infective aetiology 4.

CT
  • 75% specific and 100% sensitive at diagnosing peritonsillar abscess 1
  • rim-enhancing fluid collection within an enlarged and inflamed tonsil 1

Peritonsillar abscesses almost always require surgical aspiration or incision and drainage in comparison to tonsillitis, which is normally managed with antibiotics.

Share article

Article Information

rID: 26209
System: Head & Neck
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Tonsillar abscess
  • Quinsy
  • peritonsillar abscesses

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and Figures

  • Drag
    Case 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 3
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 4
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 5
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 6
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 7
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 8
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.
    Loadinganimation

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.