Objectives: To explain the pathophysiology of Lemierre’s syndrome. To demonstrate the importance of detailed clinical analysis and request of appropriate investigations in its diagnosis. To discuss treatment regimens for the management of this potentially fatal condition.
Case report: Andre Lemierre first published his case series of 20 patients afflicted by his eponymous syndrome in 1936.1 We now report 3 cases of Lemierre’s syndrome over 3 years at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, a large teaching hospital. Two of the cases resulted from oropharyngeal infections and the other from an otitis media.
Conclusion: Mortality rates from Lemierre’s syndrome have reduced drastically in the advent of antibiotics. Early diagnosis and intravenous antibiotic therapy remain the key to successful treatment. The use of anticoagulation, although contentious, prevents thrombus extension.