University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

Lemierre’s Syndrome: The Forgotten Disease




Dr. Thomas Colletti


Lemierre’s Syndrome (LS) is a rare, but life-threatening bacterial infection of the internal jugular vein with subsequent thrombosis that is often preceded by a bacterial pharyngitis. It is most often seen in adolescents and young adults. The most common bacterium isolated in these patients is Fusobacterium necrophorum, an anaerobic bacterium commonly found in the oropharynx, gastrointestinal tract, and the female genitourinary tract. Patients present with a sore throat, unilateral neck pain, high fever, and cervical lymphadenopathy. Prompt recognition of LS and initiation of intravenous antibiotics is imperative to increase patient survival. Complications of LS include septic emboli to the lungs, muscles, spleen, or liver, septic arthritis, sinus cavernous thrombosis, and septic shock. This article will review the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of Lemierre’s Syndrome.

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