Critical Care: Fellow Case Report Poster - Critical Care I |

Lemierre Syndrome: Revisiting a Forgotten Disease FREE TO VIEW

Derek Hansen, MD; Wesley Aldred, MD; Christa Bowes, MD; Joe Pressler, MD; Avani Mehta, MD
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University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS

Copyright 2016, American College of Chest Physicians. All Rights Reserved.

Chest. 2016;150(4_S):232A. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2016.08.245
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SESSION TITLE: Fellow Case Report Poster - Critical Care I

SESSION TYPE: Affiliate Case Report Poster

PRESENTED ON: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM

INTRODUCTION: We present a case of Lemierre Syndrome to bring awareness of the re-emergence of this clinicopathologic entity.

CASE PRESENTATION: A 20-year-old healthy female, three months postpartum, presented with progressive headaches and neck pain after an outpatient diagnosis of presumed viral pharyngitis due to rapid streptococcal antigen negativity. Quickly, she decompensated, arrested, and was intubated. Laboratory data revealed an elevated white blood cell count with left shift, thrombocytopenia, coagulopathy, transaminitis, and acute kidney injury. Chest x-ray revealed diffuse bilateral alveolar infiltrates. Computed tomography (CT) of the chest showed mixed ground glass and soft tissue opacities, concerning for septic emboli. Lumbar puncture was consistent with bacterial meningitis. CT neck demonstrated occlusive thrombosis of the right transverse sinus, sigmoid sinus, and superior right jugular vein with a non-occlusive thrombosis of the left internal jugular vein. CT head showed watershed ischemia throughout the cerebral and cerebellar hemispheres with a 5mm midline shift. Blood cultures grew Fusobacterium Necrophorum. This constellation is consistent with Lemierre Syndrome. Despite treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics and heparin infusion, she progressively declined and life sustaining measures were withdrawn.

DISCUSSION: Lemierre Syndrome is characterized by a recent oropharyngeal infection, septic pulmonary emboli, and a suppurative thrombophlebitis of the internal jugular vein. The most common pathogen is Fusobacterium Necrophorum, an anaerobic gram-negative rod that typically lines the mucosa of the oropharyngeal, gastrointestinal, and female urogenital tract. The number of reported cases of Lemierre Syndrome is increasing, likely due to restricted antibiotic use for pharyngitis and tonsillitis.

CONCLUSIONS: The increasing prevalence of Lemierre Syndrome, combined with the unfamiliarity of clinicians with the characteristic features of the disease, may result in a delay or possible misdiagnosis of a potentially fatal illness. For this reason, we present this case to revisit the key features and treatment options of this syndrome.

Reference #1: Karkos, P.D., Asrani, S., Karkos, C. D., Leong, S. C., Theochari, E. G., Alexopoulou, T. D., and Assimakopoulos, A. D. (2009), Lemierre syndrome: A systematic review. The Laryngoscope, 119: 1552-1559.

DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Derek Hansen, Wesley Aldred, Christa Bowes, Joe Pressler, Avani Mehta

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