A potentially lethal form of sore throat caused by the bacterium Fusobacterium necrophorum, a common inhabitant of the mouth. This disease vanished with the advent of antibiotics but then returned decades later. It has been called the “forgotten disease.”
Lemierre syndrome develops most often after a strep sore throat has created a peritonsillar abscess, a crater filled with pus and bacteria near the tonsils. Deep in the abscess, anaerobic bacteria (microbes that do not require oxygen) like Fusobacterium necrophorum can flourish. The bacteria penetrate from the abscess into the neighboring jugular vein in the neck and there they cause an infected clot (thrombosis) to form, from which bacteria are seeded throughout the body by the bloodstream (bacteremia). Pieces of the infected clot break off and travel to the lungs as emboli blocking branches of the pulmonary artery bringing the heart’s blood to the lungs. This causes shortness of breath, chest pain and severe pneumonia.
The keys to survival with Lemierre syndrome are prompt recognition of the disease, immediate use of antibiotics (to which the bacterium is responsive), and drainage of abscesses. Even with prompt appropriate therapy, the mortality (death) rate is 4 to 12%.
The syndrome was first described by A. Lemierre in the Englih medical journal The Lancet in 1936.
- Lennox syndrome
A severe form of epilepsy that is characterized by the onset in early childhood of frequent seizures of multiple types, developmental delay, a particular brain wave pattern (a slow spike-and-wave pattern), and behavioral disturbances with poor social skills and attention-seeking behavior. The types of seizures may include tonic (stiffening of the body, upward deviation of […]
- Lennox-Gastaut syndrome
A severe form of epilepsy that usually begins in early childhood. It is characterized by frequent seizures of multiple types, mental impairment, and a slow spike-and-wave pattern seen on an EEG. The seizures are notoriously hard to treat and may lead to falls and injuries. Treatment involves anti-epileptic medications.
The transparent structure inside the eye that focuses light rays onto the retina.
- Lens, intraocular
An artificial lens made of plastic, silicone, acrylic or other material that is implanted in the eye during cataract surgery. Abbreviated IOL.
- Lens, objective
In a microscope, the lens nearest to the object being examined. Most light microscopes now have a turret that bears a selection of objective lenses.