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December 1962

Streptococcal Gangrene

Author Affiliations

Fellow in Plastic Surgery (Dr. Webb); Section of Orthopedic Surgery (Dr. Hoover); Section of Medicine (Dr. Nichols); Section of Microbiology (Dr. Weed).; Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation.

Arch Surg. 1962;85(6):969-973. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1962.01310060105019

Although hemolytic Streptococcus gangrene is an uncommon disease, it is a distinct entity nevertheless. Its first clear description was provided by Meleney1 in his 1924 report of 20 patients treated in China. Later the same author2 reported 11 cases that he had observed within a period of 4 years in this country.

Characteristics  Although gangrene of the skin often is present in patients afflicted with this disease, it was noted by McCafferty and Lyons3 and by Wilson4 that necrosis of the superficial fascia is the essential lesion; and they preferred the designation "suppurative or necrotizing fasciitis." They stressed the fact that often early recognition and treatment could prevent the associated cutaneous gangrene.In the typical case of streptococcal gangrene there is a history of relatively minor trauma such as a small laceration of the skin, an insect bite, a puncture left by hypodermic injection, or a

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