Lemierre Syndrome

Other Known Aliasesseptic phlebitis

Definitioninfectious thrombophlebitis of the internal jugular vein.

Clinical Significance Often this starts out as a simple oropharyngeal infection, but if it goes untreated, it can quickly spread to the deep spaces of the neck and infiltrate the carotid sheath. Septic emboli can travel the body and cause severe bacterial complications, resulting in a mortality of up to 15%. The common pathogen for this condition is Fusobacterium necrophorum.

HistoryNamed after André-Alfred Lemierre (1875-1956), who was a French bacteriologist and received his medical doctorate in 1904. He became Médicine de Hôpitaux (hospitalist) in 1912 and later worked at the famed Hôspital Bischat. He was promoted to professor of microbiology in 1926 due to his work on septicemia, typhus, and GI/GU infections. It was in 1936 when he published a case series in The Lancet describing his eponyomous disease.


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  4. Whonamedit – dictionary of medical eponyms. http://www.whonamedit.com
  5. Up To Date. www.uptodate.com
  6. EM Docs. Lemierre’s Syndrome. http://www.emdocs.net/em-in-5-lemierres-syndrome/
  7. Lemierre AA. On certain septicaemias due to anaerobic organisms. Lancet. 1936;227(5874):701-703. [link]

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