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23 May 2023 : Case report  Thailand

[In Press] A 52-Year-Old Diabetic Man with Poor Dental Hygiene, Right Dental Abscess, and Parapharyngeal Abscess with Gas Gangrene Due to Klebsiella pneumoniae Infection, Presenting with Septic Shock and Multiorgan Failure, Who Recovered After Surgical Neck Debridement

Mistake in diagnosis, Diagnostic / therapeutic accidents, Management of emergency care, Rare disease

Sirinkarn Sookdee ORCID logo1ABDEF, Narit Jianbunjongkit1D

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.940376

Am J Case Rep In Press; DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.940376  

Available online: 2023-05-23, In Press, Corrected Proof

Publication in the "In-Press" formula aims at speeding up the public availability of the pending manuscript while waiting for the final publication. The assigned DOI number is active and citable. The availability of the article in the Medline, PubMed and PMC databases as well as Web of Science will be obtained after the final publication according to the journal schedule


Gas gangrene is a rapidly progressive and potentially fatal infection that is common in the extremities. Gas gangrene of the head and neck is a very rare condition, and non-clostridial gas-forming neck abscess caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae is unusual. This report is of a diabetic man with poor dental hygiene, a right dental abscess, and parapharyngeal abscess with gas gangrene due to Klebsiella pneumoniae infection, presenting with septic shock and multiorgan failure, who recovered after surgical neck debridement.
A 52-year-old man with diabetes mellitus lost consciousness and collapsed on a curbside. He presented with painful swelling of the right-side neck, associated with spiking fever, confusion, dyspnea, and stridor. He had right submandibular and supraclavicular swelling with crepitus, multiple dental caries, and multiorgan dysfunction, and was intubated. A computed tomography scan showed a gas-forming abscess in the right parapharyngeal, retropharyngeal, and paralaryngeal spaces and dense infiltration with pleural effusion in the upper lobes. Neck exploration was performed for drainage. Necrotic tissue and foul-smelling pus were debrided and drained. Gram stain showed gram-negative bacilli. Necrotic tissue, pus, and blood culture showed Klebsiella pneumoniae. He remained on intravenous meropenem for 14 days and was frequently debrided with irrigation until the infection subsided. Finally, normal physiologic functions of the failing organ system were restored.
We present a rare case of Klebsiella pneumoniae infection causing gas gangrene in the deep neck spaces, leading to septic shock and multiorgan failure, who recovered after surgical neck debridement. This is a potentially fatal condition that requires emergency drainage because of its high mortality rate.

Keywords: Gas Gangrene; Klebsiella pneumoniae; Multiple Organ Failure

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American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923
American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923