Features of course and surgical treatment of tonsillogenic neck phlegmons and mediastinitis
Keywords:neck phlegmon, mediastinitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, cervicotomy, mediastinotomy
Background. The problem of adequate treatment for deep neck and mediastinal suppuration is one of the most difficult in surgery. It leads to such complications as mediastinitis, sepsis, arrosive bleeding, etc. The purpose was to investigate clinical, diagnostic and treatment features in patients with neck phlegmons and mediastinitis caused by pharyngeal suppurations. Materials and methods. The results of treatment of 31 patients with parapharyngeal phlegmons were presented. The average age of them was 48.24 ± 15.60 years, men were 18 (58 %), women — 13 (42 %). All persons suffered from severe endogenous intoxication. The time from the onset of the disease to surgery was about 4 days (from one to seven). Results. Most frequently, parapharyngeal suppuration was detected — in 16 (51.6 %) patients, then paratonsillar abscesses — in 11 (35.5 %), retropharyngeal suppurations — in 3 (9.7 %), and laryngeal cancer — in 1 (3.2 %). Lateral neck radiographs were performed in all patients preoperatively. Sensitivity of this investigation was 100 %. At the same time, chest X-ray to detect mediastinitis showed low rates of sensitivity — 60 %. Surgical approaches included extensive cervicotomy (often bilateral) and penetrative polydrainage of prevertebral space. Mediastinitis was found in 15 cases (48.4 %). It was enough to use blind drainage for upper posterior mediastinitis (11 cases, or 73.3 %). Right-sided thoracotomy was performed in one case of total posterior mediastinitis. Four patients died (13 %). Descending mediastinitis and sepsis were found in all lethal cases. Mortality rate in the group of patients with mediastinitis was 26.7 %. Conclusions. Neck phlegmons as a result of parapharyngeal suppuration are characterized by an aggressive course with significant endogenous intoxication and spread to the mediastinum in 48.4 % of cases with a lethality of 13 %. The lateral neck X-ray must be performed to all patients with suspicion of a deep neck phlegmon. In most cases (80 %), suppuration spreads from the parapharyngeal spaces to posterior mediastinum, which should be taken into account when opening purulent abscesses.
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