Parotid abscess

Case contributed by Dr Fakhry Mahmoud Ebouda


Painful left parotid area swelling and fever since two weeks.

Patient Data

Age: 45 years
Gender: Male

Diffuse skin and subcutaneous fat planes thickening with stranding as well as diffuse enlargement and edema of left parotid gland. It has an ill defined hypodense area related to deep aspect of the superficial lobe. The lesion shows streaky irregular outlines and central area of low density (collection) causing posterior enhancement. The lesion measuring about 2.8 x 1.5 cm in diameter.  A reactionary multiple enlarged cervical and submandibular reactionary lymph nodes are noted. The picture of diffuse left side parotitis with area of low echogenicity as described likely represents parotid abscess formation.

  • Three days later CT done and shows a large cavitary lesion is seen affecting mainly the superficial lobe of the left parotid gland and reaches to the deep lobe. It has heterogeneous peripheral enhancement. It involves and enlarging the left medial pterygoid and masseter muscles with posterolateral displacement of the left sternocleidomastoid muscle. The inflammatory lesion is effacing the left parapharyngeal fat without significant compromising the related airway. The lesion enlarges and measures 6.4 X 5.7 X 9.4 cm in maximal dimensions with tiny air foci noted within. A radio dense drainage tube is noted abutting the lateral surface of the lesion and noted in the related significantly thickened subcutaneous tissues.Subcutaneous fatty stranding with skin thickening seen involving mainly the left aspect of the face and neck.Multiple enlarged bilateral cervical and submental lymph nodes, mainly on the left side at multiple levels.

Case Discussion

Enlarged left parotid gland with with inflammatory changes harbouring an intraglandular collection with marginal enhancement proved to abscess formation.

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Case information

rID: 56965
Published: 30th Nov 2017
Last edited: 1st Dec 2017
System: Head & Neck
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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