Deep Neck Space Infection: Study of 52 Cases

  • Sathishkumar JayagandhiEmail author
  • Saranya Chithra Cheruvu
  • Vinoth Manimaran
  • Sanjeev Mohanty
Original Article


Deep neck spaces are still common in developing countries like India, even though its less prevalent in developed nations. It can lead to serious complications like jugular vein thrombosis and dissemination of infection if not diagnosed early and intervened. This is a retrospective chart review of 52 patients from 2014 to 2017 in a tertiary care hospital. Only patients with infection deeper to the superficial fascia of neck were included. Submandibular space infection was the most common and precipitating factor being dental infection. Most common comorbid condition was diabetes mellitus. Klebsiella pneumoniae was the most common isolated organism and few patients had mixed culture with anaerobes. Injectable cephalosporin with metronidazole was the most effective antibiotic combination against such infections. Low threshold for early surgical intervention reduce hospital stay and enable quick recovery of patients. Usage of over the counter antibiotics masks the conditions and complicate diagnosis and treatment of this condition.


Deep neck space infection Investigation Microbiology Management 



  1. 1.
    Wang LF, Kuo WR, Tsai SM, Huang KJ (2003) Characterizations of life threatening deep cervical space infections: a review of one hundred ninety six cases. Am J Otolaryngol 24(2):111–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kataria G, Saxena A, Bhagat S, Singh B, Kaur M, Kaur G et al (2015) Deep neck space infections: a study of 76 cases. Iran J Otorhinolaryngol 27:293–299Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Huang TT, Tseng FY, Yeh TH, Hsu CJ, Cen YS (2006) Factors affecting the bacteriology of deep neck infection: a retrospective study of 128 patients. Acta Otolaryngol 126(4):396–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Vieira F, Allen SM, Stocks RSM, Thompson JW (2008) Deep neck infections. Otolaryngol Clin N Am. 12:459–483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wills PI, Vernon RP (1981) Complications of space infections of the head and neck. Laryngoscope 91(7):1129–1136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chi T-H, Tsao Y-H, Yuan C-H (2014) Influences of patient age on deep neck infection: clinical etiology and treatment outcome. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 151(4):586–590CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ridder GJ, Technau-Ihling K (2005) Spectrum and management of deep neck space infections: an 8 year Experience of 234 cases. Otolaryngology-Head Neck Surg 133:709–714CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bali RK, Sharma P, Gaba S, Kaur A, Ghanghas P (2015) A review of complications of odontogenic infections. Natl J Maxillofac Surg 6:136–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bou-Assaly W, Mckellop J, Mukherji S (2010) Computed tomography imaging of acute neck inflammatory processes. World J Radiol 2(3):91–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Motahari SJ, Poormoosa R, Nikkhah M et al (2015) Treatment and prognosis of deep neck infections. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 67(Suppl 1):134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Adil E, Tarshish Y, Roberson D, Jang J, Licameli G, Kenna M (2015) A review of complications of odontogenic infections. Natl J Maxillofac Surg 6(2):136–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Santos Gorjón P, Blanco Pérez P, Morales Martín AC, Pozo Del, de Dios JC, Estévez Alonso S, Calle de la Cabanillas MI (2012) Deep neck infection: review of 286 cases. Acta Otorrinolaringol Esp 63(1):31–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Dhanalakshmi S (2015) Lurking dangers in deep neck abscess retrospective study. J Evol Med Dent Sci 46(4):7977–7985Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Muckleston HS (1942) Angina ludovici and kindred. Infections: an historical and clinical study. Ann Otorhinolaryngol 35:467Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sharma K, Das D, Joshi M, Barman D, Sarma AJ (2018) Deep neck space infections-a study in diabetic population in a tertiary care centre. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 70(1):22–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association of Otolaryngologists of India 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ENT Head and Neck SurgerySri Ramachandra Medical College and HospitalPorur, ChennaiIndia

Personalised recommendations