What is peritonsillar abscess (PTA)?

Updated: May 09, 2018
  • Author: Jeffrey D Suh, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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The peritonsillar abscess (PTA) remains a common clinical entity in the emergency department and in an otolaryngology practice. The exact incidence has been estimated at 30 cases per 100,000 people per year.

PTA is rare in infants and children younger than 12 years. The mean age for this disease is 20-30 years; males and females are affected equally. PTA usually occurs near the superior pole of the palatine tonsil, in the space outside of the tonsillar capsule between the superior constrictor and the palatopharyngeus muscle. [1]

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