Deep neck infections: review of 263 cases
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Objectives: In patients hospitalized due to deep neck infections (DNIs), to investigate the association between demographic parameters, etiology, and localization of abscesses and/or phlegmons, complications, comorbidities, treatment, and bacterial cultures. Methods: We analyzed data of 263 patients that were hospitalized from January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2015, due to deep neck space phlegmons and/or abscesses. We performed statistical analysis with the SPSS 22.0 software; statistical significance was set p<0.05. Results: Among the analyzed patients, dental infections were the most frequent, followed by acute phlegmonous pharyngitis. Submandibular space abscesses or phlegmons of the neck were the most frequent complications of these infections. Re-operation was performed in 19.8% of cases, and complications developed in 11% (mostly airway obstruction). DNI complications were less common in smokers than in non-smokers (OR=0.038, p=0.025). Discussion: In our study, dental infections accounted for 70.6% of DNI cases. Thus, our study explains why odontogenic DNIs are the most common DNI type studied in the literature. Poor oral health and odontogenic infections should not be underestimated because they can lead to uncommon but lethal diseases such as descending necrotizing mediastinitis, which requires aggressive surgical treatment and is associated with a mortality rate of 10%-40% despite treatment. The complication developed in 11.4% of cases. In conclusion, oral health and hygiene contribute to DNI development.
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