Gas gangrene in the deep spaces of the head and neck visualized on computed tomography images
Cellulitis accompanied by gas gangrene is a rapidly-spreading and potentially fatal infection. Here, we present a case of gas gangrene in the deep spaces of the head and neck in an elderly woman, diagnosed by computed tomography (CT). An 86-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and osteoporosis was referred to our institute by her local dentist. The patient exhibited trismus caused by severe swelling in the left submandibular area. CT images of the head and neck area showed swelling of the cervical tissue with air in the parapharyngeal and masticator spaces. She was treated with antibiotics, followed by drainage. Although the therapy was continued, the patient died from a cardiac complication on hospital day 42. Our case highlights the usefulness of CT for diagnosing gas gangrene in the deep spaces of the head and neck in a woman with Alzheimer’s disease.
KeywordsGas gangrene Dental infection Computed tomography Parapharyngeal space Alzheimer’s disease
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Shoko Gamoh, Kaname Tsuji, Hugo Maruyama, Hiroyuki Hamada, Hironori Akiyama, Isumi Toda, Pao-Li Wang, Shosuke Morita, and Kimishige Shimizutani declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human rights statements and informed consent
All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1964 and later versions. Informed consent was obtained from the patient for being included in the study.
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