RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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Efficacy of Spinal Needle Aspiration in Patients with Epiglottic Abscess: A Prospective, Randomized, Controlled Study.

OBJECTIVE/HYPOTHESIS: To evaluate the efficacy of spinal needle aspiration for symptom improvement in awake patients with epiglottic abscess (EA).

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective randomized controlled study.

SETTING: Tertiary center.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Twenty-two patients who were diagnosed with EA were randomly allocated to group A (needle aspiration and antibiotics) or group B (antibiotics only). Patients' characteristics, laryngoscopic findings of epiglottic swelling and arytenoid swelling by scope classification, and initial laboratory findings were analyzed. Needle aspiration was done under local anesthesia in awake patients using an 18-gauge spinal needle and indirect laryngoscope. Changes in the following symptoms during hospital stay were assessed: sore throat, hoarseness, dyspnea, odynophagia, and dysphagia.

RESULTS: Eleven patients were treated with needle aspiration and antibiotics, and 11 patients were treated with antibiotics only. There was no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups regarding age, sex, white blood cell count, C-reactive protein, presenting clinical symptoms, abscess size, and scope classification at time of diagnosis. Patients in both groups had significant improvement in all clinical symptoms. While there were no between-group differences in improvement for any of the symptoms, the length of hospitalization was significantly lower in group A (4.0 ± 1.9 days) than in group B (5.7 ± 1.2 days) (P = .037).

CONCLUSION: We did not find any significant additional benefit of needle aspiration for the treatment of EA, with the exception that needle aspiration reduced the length of hospitalization. Further proof with a large-scale study is needed.

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