Difference between revisions of "Ludwig's angina"

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*ER Atlas
*ER Atlas

Revision as of 17:29, 21 May 2014


  • Bilateral infection of submental, submandibular, and sublingual spaces
  • Cellulitis without clear fluctuance/abscess
  • 85% of cases arise from an odontogenic source, usually mandibular molars
    • Strep, staphylococcus, bacteroides
  • Patients usually 20-60yr; male predominance
  • Intubation may be very difficult
    • Consider awake endoscopic NP or OP intubation
    • Anesthesia or ENT back-up if possible

Clinical Features

  • Dysphagia
  • Odynophagia
  • Trismus
  • Edema of upper midline neck and floor of mouth
  • Late signs
    • Stridor, drooling, cyanosis


  • CT face with contrast
    • Only obtain if diagnosis is question
    • Pt may lose airway in scanner if lies flat


  • Airway management
  • Emergent ENT consult for I&D
  • Abx
    • Must cover typical oral flora
    • Usually 3rd generation cehpalosporin + (clindamycin or metronidazole)
  • Awake intubation


  • Admit, usually ICU for airway monitoring

See Also

  1. PTA
  2. Retropharyngeal Abscess
  3. Pharyngitis


  • Tintinalli
  • ER Atlas
  • Rosen's