How effective and safe is the use of trans-cervical ultrasonography in the detection of pediatric peritonsillar abscess (PTA)?
Background: Pediatric PTA is a common infection, particularly in adolescents. Treatment is based on differentiating among PTA, peritonsillar cellulitis (PTC), and tonsillitis (viral or bacterial); however, distinguishing among these entities based on history and physical exam alone may be challenging. Computed tomography (CT) is the most sensitive imaging modality for diagnosis and can identify infection spread beyond the peritonsillar tissues, but cost and increased awareness of radiation exposure prohibit its standard use, especially in pediatrics. Ultrasound (US) has been shown to reliably distinguish PTA from PTC in a number of small-scale studies with adult patients.
Explore this issue:December 2015
Study design: Prospective single-arm cohort study of 43 patients diagnosed between May 2013 and April 2014.
Setting: Children’s National Health System, Washington, D.C.