Necrotizing Fasciitis

Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY, USA.
The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (Impact Factor: 2.53). 04/2009; 17(3):174-82.
Source: PubMed


Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare but life-threatening soft-tissue infection characterized by rapidly spreading inflammation and subsequent necrosis of the fascial planes and surrounding tissue. Infection typically follows trauma, although the inciting insult may be as minor as a scrape or an insect bite. Often caused by toxin-producing, virulent bacteria such as group A streptococcus and associated with severe systemic toxicity, necrotizing fasciitis is rapidly fatal unless diagnosed promptly and treated aggressively. Necrotizing fasciitis is often initially misdiagnosed as a more benign soft-tissue infection. The single most important variable influencing mortality is time to surgical débridement. Thus, a high degree of clinical suspicion is necessary to avert potentially disastrous consequences. Orthopaedic surgeons are often the first to evaluate patients with necrotizing fasciitis and as such must be aware of the presentation and management of this disease. Timely diagnosis, broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy, and aggressive surgical débridement of affected tissue are keys to the treatment of this serious, often life-threatening infection.

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    • "A combination of our aging population and increased travel may explain the spread of this emerging worldwide infectious disease.32,33 Clinicians and geriatricians in particular should be aware that this unusual emerging pathogen may be involved in the pathogenesis of necrotizing fasciitis and requires prompt and appropriate therapy.32,34 "
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    ABSTRACT: Klebsiella pneumoniae necrotizing fasciitis is a rare infection in regions outside of Asia. Here, we present a case of necrotizing fasciitis of the leg caused by K. pneumoniae in a 92-year-old French woman hospitalized in a geriatric rehabilitation unit. The patient initially presented with dermohypodermitis of the leg that developed from a dirty wound following a fall. A few hours later, this painful injury extended to the entire lower limb, with purplish discoloration of the skin, bullae, and necrosis. Septic shock rapidly appeared and the patient died 9 hours after the onset of symptoms. The patient was Caucasian, with no history of travel to Asia or any underlying disease. Computed tomography revealed no infectious metastatic loci. Blood cultures showed growth of capsular serotype K2 K. pneumoniae strains with virulence factors RmpA, yersiniabactin and aerobactin. This rare and fatal case of necrotizing fasciitis caused by a virulent strain of K. pneumoniae occurred in a hospitalized elderly woman without risk factors. Clinicians and geriatricians in particular should be aware of this important albeit unusual differential diagnosis.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Clinical Interventions in Aging
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    • "Etiologically two subtypes of FN can be distinguished [2] [8]. Type 1 results from a polymicrobial infection, in which an average of 4 different organisms is found, often gram-positive cocci, gram-negative rods, and anaerobes [2]. This type occurs in 55–75% of cases [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Necrotising fasciitis is a rare but disastrous complication after elective surgery. We present two patients (both male, 58 and 18 years old) who developed necrotising fasciitis following elective inguinal hernia repair according to Lichtenstein. The importance of both recognition and time interval between symptom occurrence and surgical intervention is illustrated, emphasising the need for immediate action when necrotising fasciitis is suspected. A high index of suspicion of necrotising fasciitis should be maintained when a wound infection is accompanied by disproportional pain, lethargy, or sepsis. Epidermolysis and subcutaneous emphysema are often very late symptoms. Recognition and immediate intervention decrease mortality and morbidity.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014
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    • "The conventional management consists of a vigorous debridement of necrotized skin, subcutaneous tissue, all fascias, and muscle, along with specific antimicrobial treatment. Once the affected area is free from any infection, the surgical defect is treated using restorative plastic surgery that involves the rotation of a pedicle or a skin graft [2]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Odontogenic necrotizing fasciitis of the neck is a fulminant infection of odontogenic origin that quickly spreads along the fascial planes and results in necrosis of the affected tissues. It is usually polymicrobial, occurs frequently in immunocompromised patients, and has a high mortality rate. A 69-year old Mexican male had a pain in the maxillar right-canine region and a swelling of the submental and submandibular regions. Our examination revealed local pain, tachycardia, hyperthermia (39°C), and the swelling of bilateral submental and submandibular regions, which also were erythematous, hyperthermic, crepitant, and with a positive Godet sign. Mobility and third-degree caries were seen in the right mandibular canine. Bacteriological cultures isolated streptococcus pyogenes and staphylococcus aureus. The histopathological diagnosis was odontogenic necrotizing fasciitis of the submental and submandibular regions. The initial treatment was surgical debridement and the administration of antibiotics. After cultures were negative, the surgical wound was treated with a growth factor-enriched autologous plasma eight times every third day until complete healing occurred. The treatment with a growth factor-enriched autologous plasma caused a rapid healing of an extensive surgical wound in a patient with odontogenic necrotizing fasciitis. The benefits were rapid tissue regeneration, an aesthetic and a functional scar, and the avoidance of further surgery and possible complications.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Journal of Medical Case Reports
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