DEEP seated abscesses may be difficult to recognize and manage because their symptoms and signs are predominantly systemic and poorly localized. Chronic retroperitoneal pelvic abscesses, as well as retroperitoneal infections located more superiorly, present such problems.1-3 The deep pelvic location makes early recognition of small retroperitoneal pelvic abscesses especially difficult in some patients. The referral of pain to distant anatomic sites diverts attention from the region of the abscess. The physician may be misled and direct extensive efforts in searching for a systemic disease while the patient's condition slowly deteriorates. The pelvic retroperitoneal abscess may even be overlooked by the surgeon exploring the abdomen or examining the pelvis. Unless the abscess is drained surgically, the outcome may be fatal.
It is desired to call attention to (1) the diagnostic and therapeutic problems which feature retroperitoneal pelvic abscesses, (2) the anatomic compartments of the supralevator portion of the retroperitoneal pelvic