The aim of this work is to study the epidemiological, clinical and evolutive characteristics of the erysipela in patients treated for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).
Between January 1993 and June 2003, 212 patients were treated for NPC in the radiotherapy department of Sfax hospital. Twenty-two patients among them have presented an erysipela. A neoadjuvant chemotherapy was used for 16 patients with N2-N3 disease. Locoregional radiotherapy was delivered for all of patients.
The mean age was 35 years (range: 10 and 69), sex-ratio was 1.2. The median delay between the appearance of erysipela and the end of the treatment was 16 months. The main localisation was the face. The main clinical manifestations were fever in 86% of cases and erythema in 77% of cases. Immediate evolution was favorable in all cases after antibiotherapy. Recurrences were observed in 45% in cases.
Erysipela is a common skin infection readly found in patients with venous insufficiency. In our study we found a significant correlation between the frequency of erysipela and dystrophic complications. The incidence of erysipela in the face and cervical region after radiotherapy is unknown.