Ludwig angina refers to rapidly progressive inflammation (cellulitis) at the floor of the mouth. It can potentially lead to a fatal airway compromise.
Largely due to the advent of antibiotics the condition is uncommon in present day modern societies.
Most cases are thought to originate from an untreated odontogenic infection.
It is primarily a clinical diagnosis. The presence of an abscess involving submandibular, sublingual or submental spaces may raise concern. Accompanying swelling and elevation of the tongue may also be present.
It is named after Wilhelm Friedrich von Ludwig : German physician, who first described this condition in 1836 2
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- 1. Silverman PM, Zeiberg AS, Sessions RB et-al. Helical CT of the upper airway: normal and abnormal findings on three-dimensional reconstructed images. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1995;165 (3): 541-6. AJR Am J Roentgenol (abstract) - Pubmed citation
- 2. W. F. Von Ludwig. Über eine in neuerer Zeit wiederholt hier vorgekommene Form von Halsentzündung. Medicinisches Correspondenzblatt des Württembergischen ärztlichen Vereins, Stuttgart, 1836, 6: 21-25.
- 3. Ludwig Benjamin, et. al. Diagnostic imaging in nontraumatic head and neck emergencies. RadioGraphics 2010; 30:781–799.
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