Clinical Presentation and Factors Leading to Complications of Deep Neck Space Infections at CHUK

  • Isaie Ncogoza Department of Ear Nose Throat, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda
  • Eric Munezero University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK), Kigali, Rwanda
  • Jean Paul Mvukiyehe Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda
  • David Shaye Department of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Keywords: Deep neck space infections, presentation, complications.



Deep neck space infection (DNSI) mostly arise from the local extension of dental, tonsils and parotid gland infections. Early diagnosis and management is the key to avoid associated complications.


Our study aimed at evaluating the clinical presentation and factors related to complications of DNSIs at the University Teaching Hospital of Kigali.


This cross-sectional study was conducted at the University teaching hospital of Kigali from September 2017 to November 2018. It enrolled 66 participants.  Patient information was recorded using a questionnaire and analyzed using Epidata 3.1 software. The data were processed using SPSS 16.0. Comparison of categorical variables were performed using the chi-square test. Associations with p-values=0.05 were considered statistically significant.


Males accounted for 35 (53%) of DNSIs.  The majority (97%) presented with neck pain and 21% with a history of tooth extraction.  The submandibular space was the most involved in 33 (50%) cases. The average duration of symptoms at presentation was 11 days. Delayed consultation and advanced age (>40years) were associated with complications and hospital stay with (p value=0.022) and (p=0.015) respectively.


Neck pain on background of tooth extraction is the most common presentation of patients with DNSIs. Delayed presentation and advanced age are central factors for complications and longer hospital stay.

Rwanda J Med Health Sci 2021;4(1):8-19


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2616-9827
print ISSN: 2616-9819