Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Fatal Epiglottic Abscess After Radiotherapy for Laryngeal Carcinoma

Harvey, Matthew BMed; Quagliotto, Gary MBBS, FRCPA; Milne, Nathan MBBS, FRCPA, IFCAP

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: December 2012 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - p 297–299
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e318221be6a
Case Reports

Acute epiglottitis is a rare condition, especially in adults, largely owing to the widespread vaccination against Haemophilus influenzae. Traumatic epiglottitis as a result of thermal or caustic insults is documented. Epiglottic abscess formation is described as a sequela of epiglottitis in some cases. The development of epiglottic abscess from epiglottitis secondary to radiotherapy has previously been described in the literature; however, there are no reports of fatalities due to epiglottic abscess after radiotherapy. We present an unusual case of an adult sudden death due to epiglottic abscess formation subsequent to radiotherapy for laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma.

Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text.

From the Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services, Queensland, Australia.

Manuscript received March 9, 2011; accepted April 20, 2011.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Nathan Milne, MBBS, FRCPA, IFCAP, Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services, Queensland, Australia. E-mail:

Supplemental digital contents are available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.