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Article
April 1941

PROGRESSIVE BACTERIAL SYNERGISTIC GANGRENEINVOLVEMENT OF THE ABDOMINAL WALL; REPORT OF AN UNUSUAL CASE

Author Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School CHICAGO
From the Department of Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, and the Norwegian American Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1941;42(4):719-729. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1941.01210100079008
Abstract

Progressive bacterial synergistic gangrene is a chronic, rapidly spreading necrosis of the skin characterized by a distinct clinical picture and caused by a symbiosis of organisms, the cultural characteristics of which have been described by Meleney.1 The disease is rare, although since 1924 an increasing number of case reports have appeared in current medical literature. Because of its infrequent occurrence it may not be recognized when first seen. The disease is so distressing to the patient and so persistent in its relentless destructive process that it is of the utmost importance that an early diagnosis be made and proper treatment instituted.

HISTORICAL CONSIDERATIONS  In 1909, Luckett2 reported an unusual, rapidly spreading ulcer of the abdominal wall, which developed from a pimple. Removal of the scab, which followed picking of the pimple, revealed a small ulcer. Within six days this ulcer enlarged to 2 by 3 inches (5 by

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