Less invasive management of deep neck infection and descending necrotizing mediastinitis: A single-center retrospective study

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Abstract

By a 7-year retrospective review, we reported our experience in management of descending necrotizing mediastinitis (DNM) and deep neck infection (DNI). A retrospective design was used to reveal the clinical characteristics of DNI and DNM. The clinical outcome was analyzed to validate less invasive management. We reviewed 82 patients between 2009 and 2016, 12 of which were diagnosed as DNM by clinical and computed tomography findings. A total of 35 patients had relevant systemic conditions, mainly diabetes mellitus (19 patients). Most cases were secondary to oropharyngeal or dental infections. All patients underwent transcervical drainage, and 10 DNM patients were treated with additional closed thoracic drainage simultaneously. Twenty patients accepted more than 1 operation. Seven patients died as a result of sepsis and/or multiple organ failure. The mortality rate in our study was similar to that in other studies. In our opinion, less invasive therapies are useful to most patients. Transcervical drainage alone is optimal management for all DNI cases and some DNM cases. Additional closed thoracic drainage is enough for type I and IIA DNM with pleural effusion or empyema.

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