Descending necrotizing mediastinitis: Mediastinal drainage with or without thoracotomy

Joung Taek Kim, K. H. Kim, S. W. Lee, K. Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Descending necrotizing mediastinitis (DNM) is a lethal process originating from odontogenic, pharyngeal, or cervical infections that descends along the fascial planes into the mediastinum. The surgical management ranges from cervical drainage to routine thoracotomy but remains controversial. We here describe two patients treated successfully who underwent cervical drainage alone or cervical drainage combined with thoracotomy. Wide cervical exploration with postural drainage was effective in one patient with limited DNM above the carina. Mediastinal exploration through thoracotomy was required to salvage the other with DNM extending below the carina and associated with pericardial invasion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-335
Number of pages3
JournalThoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Oct


  • Cervical exploration
  • Descending necrotizing mediastinitis
  • Postural drainage
  • Thoracotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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