Gangrene is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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Basics

Description

  • Gas gangrene or clostridial myonecrosis
  • An acute, rapidly progressive, gas-forming necrotizing infection of muscle and subcutaneous tissue
  • Can be seen in post-traumatic or postoperative situations
  • Progressive invasion and destruction of healthy muscle tissue

Etiology

  • Clostridial organisms:
    • Facultative anaerobic, spore-forming, gram-positive bacillus
    • Produces a number of toxins; the most prevalent and lethal is α-toxin.
  • Clostridium perfringens is the most common bacterium; found in 80–90% of wounds.
  • Other clostridial bacteria include Clostridium novyi, Clostridium septicum, Clostridium histolyticum, Clostridium bifermentans, and Clostridium fallax.
  • 2 distinct mechanisms for introduction of clostridial organisms:
    • Traumatic and postoperative
    • Nontraumatic associated with diabetes mellitus, peripheral vascular disease, alcoholism, IV drug abuse, and malignancies

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Citation

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TY - ELEC T1 - Gangrene ID - 307533 Y1 - 2016 PB - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307533/all/Gangrene ER -