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