Computed tomographic findings in peritonsillar abscess and cellulitis

J Laryngol Otol. 1995 May;109(5):449-51. doi: 10.1017/s0022215100130415.


The differentiation of a peritonsillar abscess from peritonsillar cellulitis, although difficult on physical examination, is required in order to determine the appropriate treatment. Peritonsillar cellulitis can be treated with antibiotics alone, while a peritonsillar abscess should be drained. Computed tomography (CT) of the neck is often performed to identify the formation of a deep abscess in the neck, but is rarely used to diagnose peritonsillar infections. We report a patient in whom CT was a useful diagnostic tool for distinguishing peritonsillar abscess from peritonsillar cellulitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cellulitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peritonsillar Abscess / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Tonsillitis / diagnostic imaging*