Clinical Practice Guidelines: Deep Neck Infection



Deep neck infections encompass the variety of potential spaces where infections in the neck can occur.  These potential spaces can be divided into three categories: lateral (encompassing the lymph nodes, lateral musculature, and parotid space), peritonsillar (including the tonsillar pillars), and para/retropharyngeal.  Deep neck infections frequently have a rapid onset and can progress to serious, even life-threatening, infections and thus require accurate diagnosis and swift treatment.  Though these spaces are in relative close proximity, the anatomy differs greatly with varied microbiology presenting diagnostic and therapeutic challenges.

The clinical practice guideline was developed with the goal of standardization of care deep neck infections, based on current evidence and best practices.  All three categories require different, distinct diagnostic and therapeutic measures.  Therefore, the clinical practice guideline focuses on providing high-quality, cost-effective care by reducing unnecessary laboratory testing and imaging modalities, streamlining initial diagnosis, and tailoring target antimicrobial therapy to promote effective treatment of pathogens while maintaining good antibiotic stewardship.

Deep neck infection guidelines team

  • Contact: Travis W. Crook, Hospital Medicine
  • Patti Frost, Hospital Medicine
  • Alison Grisso, Pharmacy
  • Dave Johnson, Hospital Medicine
  • Edward Penn, Otolaryngology
  • Cody Penrod, Emergency Medicine
  • Sumit Pruthi, Radiology
  • Isaac Thomsen, Infectious Diseases