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Patients with Lemierre syndrome have a high risk of new thromboembolic complications, clinical sequelae, and death: an analysis of 712 cases.

TitlePatients with Lemierre syndrome have a high risk of new thromboembolic complications, clinical sequelae, and death: an analysis of 712 cases.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsValerio, L., Zane F., Sacco C., Granziera S., Nicoletti T., Russo M., Corsi G., Holm K., Hotz M-A., Righini C., Karkos P. D., Mahmoudpour S. Hamidreza, Kucher N., Verhamme P., Di Nisio M., Centor R. M., Konstantinides S. V., Pecci A., & Barco S.
JournalJ Intern Med
Date Published2020 May 22

BACKGROUND: Lemierre syndrome is characterized by head/neck vein thrombosis and septic embolism usually complicating an acute oropharyngeal bacterial infection in adolescents and young adults. We described the course of Lemierre syndrome in the contemporary era.
METHODS: In our individual-level analysis of 712 patients (2000-2017), we included cases described as Lemierre syndrome if these criteria were met: (i) primary site of bacterial infection in the head/neck; (ii) objectively confirmed local thrombotic complications or septic embolism. The study outcomes were new or recurrent venous thromboembolism or peripheral septic lesions, major bleeding, all-cause death, and clinical sequelae.
RESULTS: The median age was 21 (Q1-Q3: 17-33) years and 295 (41%) were female. At diagnosis, acute thrombosis of head/neck veins was detected in 597 (84%) patients, septic embolism in 582 (82%), and both in 468 (80%). After diagnosis and during in-hospital follow-up, new venous thromboembolism occurred in 34 (5.2%, 95%CI 3.8-7.2%) patients, new peripheral septic lesions became evident in 76 (11.7%; 9.4-14.3%). The rate of either was lower in patients who received anticoagulation (OR: 0.59; 0.36-0.94), higher in those with initial intracranial involvement (OR: 2.35; 1.45-3.80). Major bleeding occurred in 19 patients (2.9%; 1.9-4.5%), and 26 died (4.0%; 2.7-5.8%). Clinical sequelae were reported in 65 (10.4%, 8.2-13.0%) individuals, often consisting of cranial nerve palsy (n=24) and orthopedic limitations (n=19).
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with Lemierre syndrome were characterized by a substantial risk of new thromboembolic complications and death. This risk was higher in the presence of initial intracranial involvement. One-tenth of survivors suffered major clinical sequelae.

Alternate JournalJ. Intern. Med.
PubMed ID32445216


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