RESEARCH – July 2006

Peritonsillar abscesses in Department of Otorhinolaryngology of Tartu University Hospital 1999–2005


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Background. Peritonsillar abscess (PTA) is the most common deep neck infection with even possible fatal complications.
Aim. To investigate the epidemiological data of PTA, 939 cases of PTA from 1999–2005 were examined retrospectively in the Clinic of Otorhinolaryngology of Tartu University Hospital.
Results. 540 male (57.5%) and 399 female (42.5%) patients with an average age of 27.2 years (range 2–81 years; median 23 years) were included in this study. The peak incidence of the disease was observed in the age group 16 to 20 years (16 years in female and 18 in male patients). The study revealed strong seasonal variation with the highest incidence in July (116 cases) and the lowest in March (57 cases). There was also a significant increase in the incidence of PTA during the study period.
Conclusions. PTA is most prevalent in the age group 16–18 years, and is characterised by slight male predilection and strong seasonal variations.