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J Gen Intern Med. 2009 Jul;24(7):872-5. doi: 10.1007/s11606-009-1001-1. Epub 2009 May 10.

A sore throat--potentially life-threatening?

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, University of Tennessee, College of Medicine, Chattanooga, TN, USA. hyli720@yahoo.com

Abstract

A sore throat, which is most commonly viewed as a minor ailment, can be a manifestation of a life-threatening disorder known as Lemierre's syndrome caused by Fusobacterium necrophorum. We report a new case of Lemierre's syndrome that occurred in an otherwise healthy 18-year-old woman, who initially presented with fever and sore throat. The diagnosis was not made until a week later when blood cultures became available. This syndrome should be suspected until proven otherwise in any patient with signs of pharyngitis, a painful swollen neck, and pulmonary symptoms. By presenting this curable, but potentially life-threatening case of Lemierre's syndrome, we hope to increase the awareness of the early clinical manifestations of Lemierre's syndrome and to emphasize the importance of careful physical examination with special attention to the neck. Clinicians should be aware that exclusion of streptococcal infection in a patient with severe tonsillar infection does not exclude a bacterial cause.

PMID:
19430936
PMCID:
PMC2695513
DOI:
10.1007/s11606-009-1001-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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