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Perirectal Abscess

Perirectal Abscess is a topic covered in the Select 5-Minute Pediatrics Topics.

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  • Abscess in the perirectal area
  • May be associated with fistula-in-ano
  • Classification of the abscess is based on the location in relation to the levator and sphincteric muscles of the pelvic floor.
  • Classification by decreasing frequency: perianal, ischioanal, intersphincteric, and supralevator


  • May occur at any age
    • More common in males 2:1
    • In children, more common in those less than 2 years


  • Most often originates from an occluded anal gland with subsequent bacterial overgrowth and abscess formation
  • Infection from within the anal glands, penetrates through the internal sphincter, and ends in the intersphincteric space
  • Chronic infection and inflammation may result in the formation of fistula-in-ano. This occurs in up to 50% as a result of persistent anal sepsis or an epithelialized tract.

Commonly Associated Conditions

  • Nonspecific anal gland infection
  • Crohn disease
  • Immune deficiency (e.g., neutropenia, diabetes mellitus, AIDS)
  • Perforation by a foreign body
  • External trauma
  • Tuberculosis
  • Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD)
  • Tumor (e.g., carcinoma, rhabdomyosarcoma)

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Cabana, Michael D., editor. "Perirectal Abscess." Select 5-Minute Pediatrics Topics, 7th ed., Wolters Kluwer Health, 2015. 5minute, www.unboundmedicine.com/5minute/view/Select-5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/14160/all/Perirectal_Abscess.
Perirectal Abscess. In: Cabana MD, ed. Select 5-Minute Pediatrics Topics. 7th ed. Wolters Kluwer Health; 2015. https://www.unboundmedicine.com/5minute/view/Select-5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/14160/all/Perirectal_Abscess. Accessed June 18, 2019.
Perirectal Abscess. (2015). In Cabana, M. D. (Ed.), Select 5-Minute Pediatrics Topics. Available from https://www.unboundmedicine.com/5minute/view/Select-5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/14160/all/Perirectal_Abscess
Perirectal Abscess [Internet]. In: Cabana MD, editors. Select 5-Minute Pediatrics Topics. Wolters Kluwer Health; 2015. [cited 2019 June 18]. Available from: https://www.unboundmedicine.com/5minute/view/Select-5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/14160/all/Perirectal_Abscess.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Perirectal Abscess ID - 14160 ED - Cabana,Michael D, BT - Select 5-Minute Pediatrics Topics UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/5minute/view/Select-5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/14160/all/Perirectal_Abscess PB - Wolters Kluwer Health ET - 7 DB - 5minute DP - Unbound Medicine ER -