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Int J Otolaryngol. 2011;2011:231816. doi: 10.1155/2011/231816. Epub 2011 Jul 6.

Ludwig's Angina-A Controversial Surgical Emergency: How We Do It.

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Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery Department, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland.



To review the current protocols used for management of Ludwig's angina and to assess the efficacy of conservative measures in these cases.


A retrospective review of patients who were admitted to our institution for management of Ludwig's angina between 2003 and 2010.


Two patients were identified. Both were managed successfully with conservative measures and close airway observation. None needed an emergency intubation or surgical tracheostomy. There were no mortalities, and both had a short hospital stay.


Recently, management of Ludwig's angina has evolved from aggressive airway management into a more conservative one. This is based on close airway observation on a specialised airway unit and a serial clinical airway assessment. Improved imaging modalities, antibiotic therapy, surgical skills, and clinical experience are the key factors behind this change in practice.

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