Lemierre's Syndrome

Lemierre’s syndrome is the infection of the internal jugular vein due to a complication of a bacterial infection in the head and neck region (usually pharyngitis). This rare condition often starts with a sore throat, fever, and, body weakness; it progresses into severe lethargy, rigors, painful neck, swollen cervical lymph nodes, and spiked fevers. Other symptoms include memory loss, head ache, muscle pain, jaundice, and difficulties in opening the jaw.

The diagnosis is often confirmed through sonography of the internal jugular vein, liver and kidney function tests, chest x-ray, and bacterial cultures. The syndrome’s name is attributed to Andre Lemierre who published a series of cases describing throat infections which progressed to sepsis in 1936.

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