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Soon SR, Kanagalingam J, Johari S, Yuen HW
Correspondence: Dr Soon Sue Rene, email@example.com
Deep neck space abscesses are common otolaryngological emergencies, and prompt incision and drainage is the treatment of choice. Head and neck cancers often present with cervical metastases that may become secondarily infected. Clinical presentation is similar to a deep neck abscess. Surgical drainage of such collections has implications on subsequent treatment. In this case series, we describe six cases with this unusual presentation that were subsequently found to have a head and neck malignancy, and where three patients had their abscesses treated surgically. We aim to raise awareness of this unusual presentation of a head and neck carcinoma, and to avoid a potential pitfall in the management of deep neck abscess.
Keywords: cervical metastases, head and neck cancer, neck abscesses
Singapore Med J 2012; 53(12): 840–842