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Definition of Gangrene

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Gangrene: Tissue death due to loss of adequate blood supply. Sometimes bacteria invade such tissue and accelerate its decay. Dry gangrene is the death of tissue due to vascular insufficiency without bacterial invasion in which the tissue dies, loses sensation and simply dries up, blackens, and shrivels. Dry gangrene eventually requires amputation. Gas gangrene occurs when body tissue is invaded by bacteria that thrive in areas of low oxygen content. These bacteria are called anaerobic bacteria and include the Clostridium family of bacteria. The bacteria generate gas and pus; the tissues swells and can become painful. Wet gangrene requires urgent antibiotic treatment and sometimes surgical drainage.

QUESTION

Ringworm is caused by a fungus. See Answer
Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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