Case Reports

Fatal Lemierre’s syndrome as a complication of chronic otitis media with cholesteatoma

Marileen Roos, Tashneem Harris, Riaz Seedat

Abstract


Background. Lemierre’s syndrome is septic thrombophlebitis of the internal jugular vein, initiated by an infection of the head and neck region. This septic thrombophlebitis gives rise to septic microemboli that can disseminate throughout the body to form septic infarctions and abscesses, with the most frequent site being pulmonary.
Methods. We discuss the case of a 14-year-old male with Lemierre’s syndrome as a complication of chronic middle ear infection.
Results. The patient developed septic shock and microemboli, and subsequently died.
Conclusion. This case report illustrates that untreated chronic middle ear infection can lead to potentially fatal complications such as Lemierre’s syndrome, and emphasises the importance of timeous treatment of chronic middle ear pathology.


Authors' affiliations

Marileen Roos, Department of Otolaryngology, Kimberley Hospital Complex, South Africa; and Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Tashneem Harris, Department of Otolaryngology, Kimberley Hospital Complex, South Africa; and Division of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Riaz Seedat, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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Keywords

Cholesteatoma; Lemierre’s syndrome; chronic middle ear pathology; internal jugular vein thrombosis

Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2016;10(4):231. DOI:10.7196/SAJCH.2016.v10i4.1074

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-11-11
Date published: 2016-12-14

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