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Intramural oesophageal abscess: an unusual complication of tonsillitis
  1. Natasha Amiraraghi1,
  2. Lorna C Ewan2,
  3. Shayan Ansari1 and
  4. Kevin Robertson2
  1. 1 Department of Otolaryngology, University Hospital Crosshouse, Kilmarnock, Scotland
  2. 2 Department of General Surgery, University Hospital Crosshouse, Kilmarnock, Scotland
  1. Correspondence to Kevin Robertson, Kevin.Robertson{at}


Tonsillitis is an extremely common condition, usually it is self-limiting, of viral origin, and managed conservatively in general practice. Rarely patients require inpatient management, usually when bacterial infection is present or when the cause is virulent organisms such as Epstein Barr virus. Complications can be divided into non-suppurative; sepsis, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, glomerulonephritis and Lemierres disease, and suppurative; quinsy, parapharyngeal abscess and retropharyngeal abscess, respectively. Anecdotally, there is concern that modern medical practice that counsels vigilance against overuse of antibiotics, could lead to increased complications of tonsillitis. We report a case of an otherwise healthy man who presented with dysphagia, odynophagia and neck pain following a sore throat. Despite antibiotic treatment he developed an intramural oesophageal abscess, to our knowledge, an unreported complication of tonsillitis.

  • oesophagus
  • otolaryngology / ENT
  • gastrointestinal surgery
  • general surgery

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  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Contributors NA: Substantial contributions to the conception and design of the work. Drafting the work, revising it critically for important intellectual content. LCE: Drafting the work and revising it critically for important intellectual content. SA and KR: Revision of work critically for important intellectual content, final approval of the version published.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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