Overview Of Fournier Gangrene
Fournier gangrene is an acute necrotic infection of the scrotum; penis; or perineum. It is characterized by scrotum pain and redness with rapid progression to gangrene and sloughing of tissue. Fournier gangrene is usually secondary to perirectal or periurethral infections associated with local trauma, operative procedures, or urinary tract disease.
Since 1950, more than 1,800 cases for study have been reported in English language medical literature. This disease occurs worldwide and, although it is recognized more frequently among male adults, has been identified also among women and children. Treatment usually consists of the surgical removal (debridement) of extensive areas of dead tissue (necrosis, necrotic) and the administration of broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotics. Surgical reconstruction may follow where necessary.
Commonly Associated With
- Fournier disease
- Fournier’s disease
- Fourniers disease
- Fournier’s gangrene
- Fourniers gangrene
- gangrene, Fournier
- gangrene, Fournier’s
- necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum and genitalia
- synergistic necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum and genitalia
Causes Of Fournier Gangrene
Symptoms include fever, general discomfort (malaise), moderate to severe pain, and swelling in the genital and anal areas (perineal) followed by rankness and smell of the affected tissues (fetid suppuration) leading to full-blown (fulminating) gangrene. Rubbing the affected area yields the distinct sounds (crepitus) of gas in the wound and of tissues moving against one another (palpable crepitus). In severe cases, the death of tissue can extend to parts of the thighs, through the abdominal wall, and up to the chest wall.
This disease is commonly found in conjunction with other disorders (comorbidity), especially those that weaken the immune system. Some disorders that increase the predisposition to Fournier gangrene are diabetes mellitus, profound obesity, cirrhosis, interference with the blood supply to the pelvis, and various malignancies.
Symptoms Of Fournier Gangrene
Portals of entry for the bacteria, fungi, and/or viruses responsible for a particular case of Fournier gangrene are generally colorectal, urogenital or cutaneous in origin. Anorectal abscesses, urinary tract infections, surgical instrumentation and other contributing factors have all been implicated. Some cases continue to be of unknown cause (idiopathic). Why this process occasionally develops in individuals with common ailments is still not understood.
There are many ways for the virulent microorganism to gain access to the host, where the compromised immunological system is unable to prevent the infection from taking hold. The virulence of the resulting disorder is thought to be enhanced by the toxins and enzymes produced by the combination of microorganisms (synergy).
It is critical to recognize the disorder and to initiate aggressive resuscitation and administration of broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotics as quickly as possible. Such antibiotics must be followed by urgent surgical debridement of all affected dead (necrotic) skin and subcutaneous tissue involved, with repeated removal of wound margins as necessary. If the colorectal or urogenital origin is established, source control is imperative, in accordance with each case. Patients with severe blood infection (sepsis) are at increased risk for developing blood clots (thrombembolic phenomena) and may require medication to reduce the risk for thrombosis Reconstructive surgery is undertaken, once the infection is under control.
Colostomy remains controversial as a means of decreasing fecal contamination. Foley catheters generally get rid of urine adequately.
When available, a burn center may be a good location for the treatment of patients with necrotizing soft-tissue surgical infections, including Fournier gangrene.