A Fatal Mediastinitis Due to a Neck Trauma from an Undeclared Assault

Fidelia Cascini, Vincenzo Lorenzo Pascali, Domenico Biondo, Laura Filograna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


History of neck trauma should be promptly investigated in patients with severe infections of the chest as mediastinitis. We present a forensic case of a death due to a mediastinitis in a patient with an undetected fracture of the superior horn of the thyroid cartilage that was exclusively revealed at autopsy examination. Histological analyses of the neck tissues showed signs of pharyngeal mucosal microperforation caused by the fracture and surrounded by an inflammatory reaction. The fracture was caused by a not declared manual strangulation attempt, happened several days before medical evaluations. We share our experience to emphasize the importance of revealing the etiologies of fatal infections of the mediastinum both for clinical and forensic purposes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1234-1237
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • 2734
  • Genetics
  • assault
  • forensic pathology
  • forensic science
  • manual strangulation
  • mediastinitis
  • neck trauma
  • septic shock
  • thyroid fracture


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