Diagnosis and management of deep neck infections in children: The experience of an Italian paediatric centre

Irene Raffaldi, Daniele Le Serre, Silvia Garazzino, Carlo Scolfaro, Chiara Bertaina, Federica Mignone, Federica Peradotto, Paolo Tavormina, Pier Angelo Tovo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Deep neck infection (DNI) is a severe occurrence in children. We've examined the presenting signs and symptoms, the value of single diagnostic procedures, the rate of complications and the impact of the therapeutic options on the final outcome, in children with a DNI.We retrospectively evaluated patients, aged 0-18 years, who were admitted for a DNI, from January 2006 through December 2012, at Regina Margherita Children's Hospital, Turin, Italy. We subdivided them on the basis of type of treatment: pharmacological treatment alone or antimicrobial treatment plus surgery. An univariate analysis has been performed to examine the differences between the two groups.Sixty patients (32 males, 28 females) with diagnosis of DNI were enrolled; 33 children only received medical treatment (group 1), whereas 27 patients underwent also surgical interventions (group 2). The mean abscess size was significantly higher in group 2 than in group 1 (. p=0.01). The predominant organisms were Streptococcus sp. (11 cases, 52.4%, mostly Streptococcus pyogenes). The most frequent antibiotic regimen was a β lactam alone (either III generation cephalosporin or amoxicillin/clavulanate). The duration of intravenous antibiotic varied between the two groups, without statistical significance (. p=0.052); whereas the oral antibiotic administration was significantly shorter in group 1 than in group 2 (. p=0.0003). Three patients (5%) developed complications.This research confirms that the medical approach, with high doses of intravenous antibiotics for a minimum of 5 days, could be a tolerable and safe option for the treatment of patients with stable condition and/or small DNIs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-113
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infection and Chemotherapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Antibiotic treatment
  • Children
  • Complications
  • Deep neck infections
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medicine(all)


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