The Lemierre syndrome: suppurative thrombophlebitis of the internal jugular vein secondary to oropharyngeal infection

Medicine (Baltimore). 1989 Mar;68(2):85-94.


We present 2 cases of the Lemierre syndrome (also called postanginal septicemia), along with 36 other cases from a review of recent literature. A review of the literature during the preantibiotic era is also included. This disease is caused by an acute oropharyngeal infection with secondary thrombophlebitis of the internal jugular vein complicated by multiple metastatic infection. The majority of cases are caused by anaerobic gram-negative organisms, most frequently Fusobacterium necrophorum. An enhanced computed tomographic scan of the neck is the technique of choice to demonstrate the thrombosis of the internal jugular vein. Prolonged intravenous administration of antimicrobial agents known to have a good antianaerobic coverage, along with drainage of purulent collections, will usually be successful in the overwhelming majority of patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Fusobacterium Infections / complications*
  • Fusobacterium necrophorum / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Jugular Veins*
  • Male
  • Pharyngitis / complications*
  • Sepsis / etiology
  • Syndrome
  • Thrombosis / etiology*