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Lemierre Syndrome: Unusual Cause and Presentation

Aouad, Rony MD; Melkane, Antoine MD; Rassi, Simon MD

doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e3181db235b
Illustrative Cases

Lemierre syndrome is a potentially fatal condition after an oropharyngeal infection. It is characterized by thrombophlebitis of head and neck veins with systemic dissemination of septic emboli. The most frequently isolated pathogen is Fusobacterium necrophorum. We report an unusual case of Lemierre syndrome in a 4-year-old child caused by Staphylococcus aureus, with multivisceral emboli to the brain, orbits, lungs, and heart valves. We also discuss its atypical clinical presentation, the crucial role of imaging in the early diagnosis, and the different treatment modalities of this life-threatening syndrome.

From the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Hotel Dieu de France Hospital, Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon.

Reprints: Rony Aouad, MD, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, UC Davis Medical Center, 2521 Stockton Blvd, Suite 5200, Sacramento, CA 95817 (e-mail:

This article was not supported by any grant.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.