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A dangerous cause of airway obstruction: deep neck infection

  • Hwee-Kheng Lim1,2
  • Jinn-Ming Wang3
  • Sho-Ting Hung2,4
  • Hui-Chun Ku5

1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Taitung MacKay Memorial hospital, Taitung, Taiwan

2MacKay Junior College of Medicine, Nursing, and Management, Taipei, Taiwan

3Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Taitung MacKay Memorial hospital, Taitung, Taiwan

4Department of radiology, Taitung MacKay Memorial Hospital, Taitung, Taiwan

5Department of Life Science, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City, Taiwan

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2020.16.0101 Vol.17,Issue 2,March 2021 pp.4-9

Published: 08 March 2021

*Corresponding Author(s): Hui-Chun Ku E-mail:


Deep neck infection (DNI) is an infection in the fascial spaces of the neck. Complications of DNI, including mediastinitis, internal jugular vein thrombosis, and upper airway obstruction, are severe and potentially life threatening. Therefore, early identification and accurate management of DNI are essential. We review the anatomy of the deep spaces of the neck to determine the route of DNI spread so that emergency doctors, physicians, and otorhinolaryngologists can quickly recognize the development of lethal complications of DNI, such as asphyxia from airway obstruction.


Deep neck infection; Acute airway obstruction; Mortality

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Hwee-Kheng Lim,Jinn-Ming Wang,Sho-Ting Hung,Hui-Chun Ku. A dangerous cause of airway obstruction: deep neck infection. Signa Vitae. 2021. 17(2);4-9.


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