Cervical necrotizing fasciitis (CNF) is a rapidly progressive, severe bacterial infection of the fascial planes of the head and neck. Group A beta haemolytic Streptococcus spp. (GABHS), Staphylococcus spp., or obligatory anaerobic bacteria are the most common causative pathogens. The disease usually results from a dental source or facial trauma. Extensive fascial necrosis and severe systemic toxicity are common manifestations of CNF. Review of the literature reveals only seven such cases, with four successful outcomes.
The authors present the case of a 50-year-old immunocompetent female with CNF arising from a peritonsillar abscess. Intravenous immunoglobulins in conjunction with surgery and antibotics were used successfully.
The authors also suggest the importance of the early diagnosis, aggressive surgical debridement, broadspectrum antibiotics, and possible usefulness of the intravenous immunoglobulins in the treatment of CNF, especially when the disease is associated with toxic shock syndrome.