bezold abscess

A Bezold abscess is a complication of acute otomastoiditis where the infection erodes through the cortex medial to the attachment of sternocleidomastoid, at the attachment site of the posterior belly of the digastric muscle, and extends into the infratemporal fossa. Due to it being deep to the investing layer of the deep cervical fascia that envelops the sternocleidomastoid muscle and trapezius muscle, it is impalpable.

As the mastoid air cells pneumatize late in childhood, a Bezold abscess is seen usually in the adult population where the cortex is thinner.

Due to the proximity to the internal jugular vein, internal jugular vein thrombosis is a recognized complication.

History and etymology

This condition is named after Friedrich Bezold, German otologist, (1842-1908).

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