Septic thrombosis of the internal jugular vein: Lemierre's syndrome revisited

Schubert, Adrian-Daniel; Hotz, Michel-André; Caversaccio, Marco; Arnold, Andreas Michael (2014). Septic thrombosis of the internal jugular vein: Lemierre's syndrome revisited. Laryngoscope, 125(4), pp. 863-868. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1002/lary.24995

[img] Text
lary24995.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (121kB) | Request a copy

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS Study of the clinical evolution of a primary ear, nose, and throat infection complicated by septic thrombophlebitis of the internal jugular vein. STUDY DESIGN Retrospective case-control study. PATIENTS AND METHODS From 1998 to 2010, 23 patients at our institution were diagnosed with a septic thrombosis of the internal jugular vein. Diagnostics included microbiologic analysis and imaging such as computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and ultrasound. Therapy included broad-spectrum antibiotics, surgery of the primary infectious lesion, and postoperative anticoagulation. The patients were retrospectively analyzed. RESULTS The primary infection sites were found in the middle ear (11), oropharynx (8), sinus (3), and oral cavity (1). Fourteen patients needed intensive care unit treatment for a mean duration of 6 days. Seven patients were intubated, and two developed severe acute respiratory distress syndrome. An oropharynx primary infection site was most prone to a prolonged clinical evolution. Anticoagulation therapy was given in 90% of patients. All 23 patients survived the disseminated infection without consecutive systemic morbidity. CONCLUSION In the pre-antibiotic time, septic internal jugular vein thrombophlebitis was a highly fatal condition with a mortality rate of 90%. Modern imaging techniques allow early and often incidental diagnosis of this clinically hidden complication. Anticoagulation, intensive antibiotic therapy assisted by surgery of the primary infection site, and intensive supportive care can reach remission rates of 100%. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE 3b. Laryngoscope, 2014.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders (ENT)

UniBE Contributor:

Schubert, Adrian-Daniel; Caversaccio, Marco and Arnold, Andreas Michael


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Lilian Tschan

Date Deposited:

20 Mar 2015 11:24

Last Modified:

16 Nov 2015 10:24

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Lemierre's syndrome, septic thrombosis, jugular vein, ENT infection




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback