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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 1998 Mar;19(3):496-8.

Primary lingual abscess presenting as acute swelling of the tongue obstructing the upper airway: diagnosis with MR.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain.


We report the sudden development of an inflammatory process thought to be of the floor of the mouth with subsequent involvement of the respiratory airway. MR imaging showed an enhancing posterior lingual lesion, consistent with an abscess. Immediate surgical drainage relieved the symptoms. MR imaging allowed accurate diagnosis, which was essential for surgical planning in a condition that was otherwise difficult to diagnose.

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