Descending necrotizing mediastinitis: a rare pathology to keep in mind

Clin Imaging. Mar-Apr 2005;29(2):138-40. doi: 10.1016/j.clinimag.2004.10.001.


The spreading of a cervical infection to the mediastinum is a complication rarely observed, and its prognosis is still very severe. The infectious spreading follows known anatomical tracts, leading to the invasion of definite mediastinal spaces. The cervicothoracic scanning is the ideal procedure leading to the diagnosis, the localization of the infectious sites, and to the demonstration of an abscess and the presence of air in the mediastinum. We report a case of a patient in whom the early use of specific imaging and of proper aggressive surgical intervention did not allow the elimination of a fatal outcome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mediastinitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Mediastinitis / pathology
  • Mediastinitis / surgery
  • Necrosis / pathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed