Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




To describe the clinical features of descending necrotizing mediastinitis (DNM) and to outline the diagnostic and therapeutic measures to be taken in its management. Materials and methods: We retrospectively analyzed the data from 13 patients with DNM treated between 2001 and 2012 in 2 tertiary care centers, together with their demographics, diagnostic methods, therapeutic interventions, and clinical outcomes. Results: The patients consisted of 10 males and 3 females, aged from 16 to 72 years (mean age: 44). Odontogenic and tonsillar infections were the probable sources of infection in the majority of cases. Computerized tomography is a crucial imaging modality in the diagnosis and follow-up of patients with DNM. All patients underwent surgical treatment in addition to intravenous broad-spectrum antibiotics. Tube thoracostomy, mediastinal drainage, cervical drainage, and thoracotomy were the therapeutic measures utilized in these patients. Five patients were lost (38%) and 8 survived. Conclusion: DNM is a life-threatening condition that may originate from oropharyngeal infections. Emergency surgical intervention is mandatory in the management of DNM. The 2 most important survival factors are early surgical intervention and adequate drainage.


Mediastinitis, necrotizing, emergency

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