Odontogenic cervical necrotizing fasciitis, etiological aspects
Introduction: Cervical necrotizing fasciitis is a rare but very severe infection that affects the soft‑tissues of the cephalic extremity. Cervical necrotizing fasciitis most frequently occurs secondarily to inflammatory odontogenic disorders and represents the most severe infection of maxillofacial spaces, with a high lethal potential.
Materials and Methods: In this study, we selected 55 patients with confirmed cervical necrotizing fasciitis of odontogenic origin, treated in the Clinic of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Cluj‑Napoca during January 1996-December 2012.
Results: In the majority of cases, the disease evolved without the presence of associated systemic disorders (60% [45.49- 72.69]), the rest of the patients having 1-4 types of systemic disorders; type 2 diabetes mellitus was the most frequent type of underlying systemic disorder. From the appearance of the first symptoms until the presentation for treatment, a time interval of 2-30 days elapsed. During this time period, 78.18% (95% confidence interval [CI] [65.49 89.06]) of the patients received antibiotic treatment, but without results. Mandibular molars were the most frequent starting point of the disease, and the submandibular space was the first affected by the disease, 47.27% (95% CI [32.76-61.79]). Bacteriological exams showed that facultatively aerobic/anaerobic G + bacteria were the most frequently identified (72.22% [58.21-83.60]).
Conclusion: The odontogenic lesions of the lower molars, complicated by submandibular space infections, are the most frequent starting point of odontogenic cervicofacial necrotizing fasciitis. Delayed surgical treatment and strict antibiotic therapy play an important role in favoring the development of odontogenic necrotizing fasciitis.
Keywords: Head and neck infections, necrotizing fasciitis, odontogenic infection