Document Type



Cardiothoracic Surgery


Cervical necrotizing fasciitis (CNF) is a rapidly spreading deep neck infection with a high mortality rate if left untreated. The occurrence of necrotizing infections in the head and neck region is uncommon; therefore, it is a rare cause of chest pain presenting to the emergency department. Here, we present an interesting case of fungal cervical skin abscess complicated by necrotizing fasciitis that progressed to involve the mediastinum, causing necrotizing mediastinitis with pneumomediastinum in an elderly female. The patient presented to the emergency department with chest pain, shortness of breath, and fever. She had a 10-day history of a mass in the anterior midline of her neck with odynophagia. After radiologic confirmation, she was taken to the operating room where she underwent incision and drainage with debridement and washout. Postoperatively, she was given broad-spectrum antibiotics empirically, which were later replaced with intravenous (I/V) fluconazole after culture reports. Prompt diagnosis and treatment lead to the early recovery of the patient and subsequent discharge without any complications. We report this case to draw the attention of emergency medicine physicians and clinicians to this rare and life-threatening but treatable condition. Expeditious diagnosis and treatment lead to early recovery and fewer postoperative complications.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License