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Oral Cavity Abscess
Richard H. Wiggins, III, MD, CIIP, FSIIM, FAHSE, FACR
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KEY FACTS

  • Terminology

    • Imaging

      • Top Differential Diagnoses

        • Clinical Issues

          • Diagnostic Checklist

            TERMINOLOGY

            • Abbreviations

              • Oral cavity (OC)
            • Synonyms

              • Sublingual space (SLS) abscess, submandibular space (SMS) abscess, tongue abscess, root of tongue (ROT) abscess, oral abscess, lingual abscess
            • Definitions

              • Focal collection of infected fluid within OC space(s)
                • May be in 1 space or multiple spaces (transspatial)

            IMAGING

            • General Features

              • Radiographic Findings

                • CT Findings

                  • MR Findings

                    • Ultrasonographic Findings

                      • Nuclear Medicine Findings

                        • Imaging Recommendations

                          DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                            PATHOLOGY

                            • General Features

                              • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                                • Microscopic Features

                                  CLINICAL ISSUES

                                  • Presentation

                                    • Demographics

                                      • Natural History & Prognosis

                                        • Treatment

                                          DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                          • Consider

                                            • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                              • Reporting Tips

                                                Selected References

                                                1. Mesolella M et al: Clinical and diagnostic aspect of tongue abscess. Ear Nose Throat J. Epub, 2020
                                                2. Awai S et al: Lingual tonsil abscess: a rare, life-threatening cause of acute sore throat. BMJ Case Rep. 12(5), 2019
                                                3. Gondivkar S et al: Infectious diseases of oral cavity. Dis Mon. 65(6):164-84, 2019
                                                4. Srivanitchapoom C et al: Lingual abscess: predisposing factors, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management. Int J Otolaryngol. 2018:4504270, 2018
                                                5. Bekele K et al: Lingual abscess: a case report. Int Med Case Rep J. 10:285-7, 2017
                                                6. Bertossi D et al: Odontogenic orofacial infections. J Craniofac Surg. 28(1):197-202, 2017
                                                7. Kuge R et al: Recurrent lingual abscess in a child. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 36(7):694-5, 2017
                                                8. Wong ML: Abscess of the base of tongue and epiglottis. J Emerg Med. 53(5):e101-3, 2017
                                                9. Lefler JE et al: Lingual abscess in the setting of recent periodontal antibiotic injections. J Emerg Med. 51(4):454-6, 2016
                                                10. Chen PL et al: Tongue abscess induced by embedded remnant fishbone. Acta Clin Belg. 70(6):466-7, 2015
                                                11. Giordano D et al: Neurologic toxicity of lidocaine during awake intubation in a patient with tongue base abscess. Case report. Am J Otolaryngol. 35(1):62-5, 2014
                                                12. Kettaneh N et al: Spontaneous lingual abscess in an immunocompromised patient. Am J Emerg Med. 32(5):492.e1-2, 2014
                                                13. Varghese L et al: Unusual complication of dental extraction: lingual abscess. Indian J Dent Res. 24(6):772-4, 2013
                                                14. Harrington AT et al: A lingual abscess caused by Streptococcus intermedius. J Med Microbiol. 61(Pt 4):590-2, 2012
                                                15. Pallagatti S et al: Tongue abscess: a rare clinical entity. J Investig Clin Dent. 3(3):240-3, 2012
                                                16. Sánchez Barrueco Á et al: Recurrent lingual abscess. Acta Otorrinolaringol Esp. 63(4):318-20, 2012
                                                17. Solomon DM et al: Lingual abscess. J Emerg Med. 43(1):e53-4, 2012
                                                18. Capps EF et al: Emergency imaging assessment of acute, nontraumatic conditions of the head and neck. Radiographics. 30(5):1335-52, 2010. Erratum in: Radiographics. 31(1):316, 2011
                                                19. Fang WS et al: Primary lesions of the root of the tongue. Radiographics. 31(7):1907-22, 2011
                                                20. Kurtaran H et al: Tongue abscess with actinomycosis. J Craniofac Surg. 22(3):1107-9, 2011
                                                21. Tajudeen BA et al: Glossal abscess as a complication of tongue-base suspension surgery. Ear Nose Throat J. 90(12):E15-7, 2011
                                                22. Veloo AC et al: Assessment of the microbiota of a mixed infection of the tongue using phenotypic and genotypic methods simultaneously and a review of the literature. Anaerobe. 17(2):47-51, 2011
                                                23. Boon M et al: Lingual abscess from a grill cleaning brush bristle. Laryngoscope. 119(1):79-81, 2009
                                                24. Nicolas J et al: Thrombophlebitis of the sigmoid sinus after tongue piercing: a case report. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 65(6):1232-4, 2007
                                                25. Kim HJ et al: Tongue abscess mimicking neoplasia. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 27(10):2202-3, 2006
                                                26. Ozturk M et al: Tongue abscesses: MR imaging findings. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 27(6):1300-3, 2006
                                                27. Balatsouras DG et al: Lingual abscess: diagnosis and treatment. Head Neck. 26(6):550-4, 2004
                                                28. Eviatar E et al: Lingual abscess: secondary to follicular tonsillitis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 131(4):558-9, 2004
                                                29. Branstetter BF 4th et al: Infection of the facial area, oral cavity, oropharynx, and retropharynx. Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 13(3):393-410, ix, 2003
                                                30. Brook I: Microbiology and management of endodontic infections in children. J Clin Pediatr Dent. 28(1):13-7, 2003
                                                31. Sakallioglu U et al: Rare lesions of the oral cavity: case report of an actinomycotic lesion limited to the gingiva. J Oral Sci. 45(1):39-42, 2003
                                                32. Parhiscar A et al: Deep neck abscess: a retrospective review of 210 cases. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 110(11):1051-4, 2001
                                                33. Neff SP et al: Airway management in Ludwig's angina. Anaesth Intensive Care. 27(6):659-61, 1999
                                                34. Peterson LR et al: Use of the clinical microbiology laboratory for the diagnosis and management of infectious diseases related to the oral cavity. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 13(4):775-95, 1999
                                                35. Sumi M et al: Sublingual gland: MR features of normal and diseased states. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 172(3):717-22, 1999
                                                36. Gidley PW et al: Contemporary management of deep neck space infections. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 116(1):16-22, 1997
                                                37. Kamin S: Diabetic erythroleukemia with sequestra formation in the oral cavity--a case report. Singapore Dent J. 19(1):22-4, 1994
                                                38. Nguyen VD et al: Ludwig angina: an uncommon and potentially lethal neck infection. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 13(1):215-9, 1992
                                                39. Tabaqchali S: Anaerobic infections in the head and neck region. Scand J Infect Dis Suppl. 57:24-34, 1988
                                                40. Marini D et al: Oral cavity abscess due to Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Cutis. 40(4):363-4, 1987
                                                41. Salman RA et al: Submandibular space abscess due to Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 44(12):1002-5, 1986
                                                Related Anatomy
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                                                Related Differential Diagnoses
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                                                References
                                                Tables

                                                Tables

                                                KEY FACTS

                                                • Terminology

                                                  • Imaging

                                                    • Top Differential Diagnoses

                                                      • Clinical Issues

                                                        • Diagnostic Checklist

                                                          TERMINOLOGY

                                                          • Abbreviations

                                                            • Oral cavity (OC)
                                                          • Synonyms

                                                            • Sublingual space (SLS) abscess, submandibular space (SMS) abscess, tongue abscess, root of tongue (ROT) abscess, oral abscess, lingual abscess
                                                          • Definitions

                                                            • Focal collection of infected fluid within OC space(s)
                                                              • May be in 1 space or multiple spaces (transspatial)

                                                          IMAGING

                                                          • General Features

                                                            • Radiographic Findings

                                                              • CT Findings

                                                                • MR Findings

                                                                  • Ultrasonographic Findings

                                                                    • Nuclear Medicine Findings

                                                                      • Imaging Recommendations

                                                                        DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                                                                          PATHOLOGY

                                                                          • General Features

                                                                            • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                                                                              • Microscopic Features

                                                                                CLINICAL ISSUES

                                                                                • Presentation

                                                                                  • Demographics

                                                                                    • Natural History & Prognosis

                                                                                      • Treatment

                                                                                        DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                                                                        • Consider

                                                                                          • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                                                                            • Reporting Tips

                                                                                              Selected References

                                                                                              1. Mesolella M et al: Clinical and diagnostic aspect of tongue abscess. Ear Nose Throat J. Epub, 2020
                                                                                              2. Awai S et al: Lingual tonsil abscess: a rare, life-threatening cause of acute sore throat. BMJ Case Rep. 12(5), 2019
                                                                                              3. Gondivkar S et al: Infectious diseases of oral cavity. Dis Mon. 65(6):164-84, 2019
                                                                                              4. Srivanitchapoom C et al: Lingual abscess: predisposing factors, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management. Int J Otolaryngol. 2018:4504270, 2018
                                                                                              5. Bekele K et al: Lingual abscess: a case report. Int Med Case Rep J. 10:285-7, 2017
                                                                                              6. Bertossi D et al: Odontogenic orofacial infections. J Craniofac Surg. 28(1):197-202, 2017
                                                                                              7. Kuge R et al: Recurrent lingual abscess in a child. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 36(7):694-5, 2017
                                                                                              8. Wong ML: Abscess of the base of tongue and epiglottis. J Emerg Med. 53(5):e101-3, 2017
                                                                                              9. Lefler JE et al: Lingual abscess in the setting of recent periodontal antibiotic injections. J Emerg Med. 51(4):454-6, 2016
                                                                                              10. Chen PL et al: Tongue abscess induced by embedded remnant fishbone. Acta Clin Belg. 70(6):466-7, 2015
                                                                                              11. Giordano D et al: Neurologic toxicity of lidocaine during awake intubation in a patient with tongue base abscess. Case report. Am J Otolaryngol. 35(1):62-5, 2014
                                                                                              12. Kettaneh N et al: Spontaneous lingual abscess in an immunocompromised patient. Am J Emerg Med. 32(5):492.e1-2, 2014
                                                                                              13. Varghese L et al: Unusual complication of dental extraction: lingual abscess. Indian J Dent Res. 24(6):772-4, 2013
                                                                                              14. Harrington AT et al: A lingual abscess caused by Streptococcus intermedius. J Med Microbiol. 61(Pt 4):590-2, 2012
                                                                                              15. Pallagatti S et al: Tongue abscess: a rare clinical entity. J Investig Clin Dent. 3(3):240-3, 2012
                                                                                              16. Sánchez Barrueco Á et al: Recurrent lingual abscess. Acta Otorrinolaringol Esp. 63(4):318-20, 2012
                                                                                              17. Solomon DM et al: Lingual abscess. J Emerg Med. 43(1):e53-4, 2012
                                                                                              18. Capps EF et al: Emergency imaging assessment of acute, nontraumatic conditions of the head and neck. Radiographics. 30(5):1335-52, 2010. Erratum in: Radiographics. 31(1):316, 2011
                                                                                              19. Fang WS et al: Primary lesions of the root of the tongue. Radiographics. 31(7):1907-22, 2011
                                                                                              20. Kurtaran H et al: Tongue abscess with actinomycosis. J Craniofac Surg. 22(3):1107-9, 2011
                                                                                              21. Tajudeen BA et al: Glossal abscess as a complication of tongue-base suspension surgery. Ear Nose Throat J. 90(12):E15-7, 2011
                                                                                              22. Veloo AC et al: Assessment of the microbiota of a mixed infection of the tongue using phenotypic and genotypic methods simultaneously and a review of the literature. Anaerobe. 17(2):47-51, 2011
                                                                                              23. Boon M et al: Lingual abscess from a grill cleaning brush bristle. Laryngoscope. 119(1):79-81, 2009
                                                                                              24. Nicolas J et al: Thrombophlebitis of the sigmoid sinus after tongue piercing: a case report. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 65(6):1232-4, 2007
                                                                                              25. Kim HJ et al: Tongue abscess mimicking neoplasia. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 27(10):2202-3, 2006
                                                                                              26. Ozturk M et al: Tongue abscesses: MR imaging findings. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 27(6):1300-3, 2006
                                                                                              27. Balatsouras DG et al: Lingual abscess: diagnosis and treatment. Head Neck. 26(6):550-4, 2004
                                                                                              28. Eviatar E et al: Lingual abscess: secondary to follicular tonsillitis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 131(4):558-9, 2004
                                                                                              29. Branstetter BF 4th et al: Infection of the facial area, oral cavity, oropharynx, and retropharynx. Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 13(3):393-410, ix, 2003
                                                                                              30. Brook I: Microbiology and management of endodontic infections in children. J Clin Pediatr Dent. 28(1):13-7, 2003
                                                                                              31. Sakallioglu U et al: Rare lesions of the oral cavity: case report of an actinomycotic lesion limited to the gingiva. J Oral Sci. 45(1):39-42, 2003
                                                                                              32. Parhiscar A et al: Deep neck abscess: a retrospective review of 210 cases. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 110(11):1051-4, 2001
                                                                                              33. Neff SP et al: Airway management in Ludwig's angina. Anaesth Intensive Care. 27(6):659-61, 1999
                                                                                              34. Peterson LR et al: Use of the clinical microbiology laboratory for the diagnosis and management of infectious diseases related to the oral cavity. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 13(4):775-95, 1999
                                                                                              35. Sumi M et al: Sublingual gland: MR features of normal and diseased states. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 172(3):717-22, 1999
                                                                                              36. Gidley PW et al: Contemporary management of deep neck space infections. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 116(1):16-22, 1997
                                                                                              37. Kamin S: Diabetic erythroleukemia with sequestra formation in the oral cavity--a case report. Singapore Dent J. 19(1):22-4, 1994
                                                                                              38. Nguyen VD et al: Ludwig angina: an uncommon and potentially lethal neck infection. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 13(1):215-9, 1992
                                                                                              39. Tabaqchali S: Anaerobic infections in the head and neck region. Scand J Infect Dis Suppl. 57:24-34, 1988
                                                                                              40. Marini D et al: Oral cavity abscess due to Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Cutis. 40(4):363-4, 1987
                                                                                              41. Salman RA et al: Submandibular space abscess due to Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 44(12):1002-5, 1986