A rare case of iatrogenic deep neck infection secondary to hypopharyngeal injury caused by the transesophageal echocardiography

Hyung Yoon Kim, Sang Chol Lee, Sung Ji Park, Jin Oh Choi, Sung A. Chang, Sung Mok Kim, Yeon Hyeon Choe, Jae K. Oh, Seung Woo Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is considered relatively safe but semi-invasive. The hypopharyngeal and esophageal injury is infrequent complication of TEE but could be serious, even life-threatening. We present a case of a 74-year-old man who experienced a deep neck infection secondary to hypopharyngeal injury following TEE. The diagnosis was made because of the subcutaneous emphysema developed 3 hours after TEE. In spite of antibiotics therapy with prolonged fasting, a right parapharyngeal and retropharyngeal abscess was developed 5 days later. With ultrasound-guided drainage of abscess and continuous antibiotic treatment, infection was controlled. The patent underwent mitral valve repair after 14 days of antibiotic therapy. The patient recovered uneventfully. For cardiologists performing TEE, it is required to know complications and their risk factors to minimize hypopharyngeal and esophageal injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-185
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Ultrasound
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015



  • Complications
  • Hypopharyngeal injury
  • Hypopharynx
  • Iatrogenic deep neck infection
  • Transesophageal echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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