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Fournier's gangrene

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Progressive, synergetic, bacterial gangrene. Fulminating infection of the scrotum leading to gangrene and commonly associated with diabetes. May be spontaneous and usually follows trauma or operation. Does not involve testis. May spread to abdominal wall. May involve considerable skin loss. The infective agents are anaerobic Bacteroides fragilis and the aerobic E. coli.

In 1764 Baurienne (no further information available) originally described an idiopathic, rapidly progressive soft tissue necrotising gangrene of the male genitalia. Jean-Alfred Fournier in his clinical lectures in 1883 presented a case of perineal gangrene in an otherwise healthy young man.


  • J. A. Fournier:
    Gangrène foudroyante de la verge. La semaine médicale, Paris, 1883, 3: 345.
    English translation by Alexander Corman.
  • A. J. Orfuss, P. Michaelides:
    Fournier's gangrene. Archives of Dermatology, Chicago, 1964, 90: 440-441.

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