Korean J Med.  2013 Jan;84(1):101-104.

A Case of a Deep Neck Space Candidial Abscess in an Immunocompetent Woman

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Sanggye Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. chsbong@paik.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Pathology, Sanggye Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Deep neck space infections usually arise from infectious conditions of the upper aerodigestive tract. Candida albicans is a normal commensal of humans but usually causes invasive infections in immunocompromised patients. We report an immunocompetent 70-year-old woman with a Candida abscess in the deep neck space. She did not have dental or oropharyngeal disease, medication use, or medical illnesses that could cause an immunocompromised condition, except stable chronic hepatitis C. She was admitted to the hospital with fever, shortness of breath, a drowsy consciousness, and swallowing difficulty. Despite empirical antibiotic therapy, her signs and symptoms did not improve. A deep neck space abscess in the retropharyngeal space was revealed by computed tomography (CT). An abscess culture yielded C. albicans. She was treated with an antifungal agent rather then antibiotics. After 5 weeks of antifungal agent treatment and external drainage, follow-up CT scans showed substantial improvement in the abscess.


Immunocompetence; Candida albicans; Retropharyngeal abscess
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