J Med Assoc Thai 2002; 85 (7):778

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The Masticator Space Infection
Srirompotong S Mail, Srirompotong S

SOMCHAI SRIROMPOTONG, M.D.*,
SUPAPORN SRIROMPOTONG, M.D.*
The masticator space is an important suprahyoid tissue compartment. Infection of the masti-
cator space can break through the fascia and involve the adjacent space. Severe complications
including mediastinitis, pericarditis and death have been reported. The correct diagnosis and proper
management are, therefore, crucial in order to reduce this complication. The authors reviewed 22
patients with masticator space infection between July 1996 and June 2001. All of the patients pre-
sented with trismus and 18 patients (81.8%) had a suspected dental cause of infection. Five patients
had underlying disease; three were diabetic and two had human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
infection.
High dosage intravenous antibiotics directed towards the causative microorganism were
given to all of the patients. Fourteen patients underwent surgical drainage and surgical drain was posi-
tive in eleven patients (78.5%). Routine aerobic cultures were done on samples of the drained
material. Bacteriology showed
Streptococcus
spp. the dominant microorganism in three patients,
Pseudomonas
spp. in one patient and no growth in ten patients. Blood culture grew
Burholderia
pseudomallei
in one patient who responded to medical treatment. Three patients had post-operative
complications but all recovered.
Key word : Masticator Space, Infection

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