Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia is a frequent occurrence in patients with indwelling catheters. Endocarditis, osteomyelitis, and septic arthritis are common metastatic complications. A hemodialysis patient developed fever, headache, neck pain, sore throat, and dysphagia in the setting of S. aureus bacteremia. Contrast computed tomography scan of the neck revealed a retropharyngeal phlegmon. Recurrent bacteremia led to the identification of the access graft as the infectious source. We present this case to increase awareness among emergency physicians that retropharyngeal infection by S. aureus can arise by hematogenous spread and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a bacteremic patient with sore throat or neck pain.
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Published online: February 22, 2008
Accepted: July 31, 2007
Received: May 1, 2006
© 2008 Elsevier Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.