May 1982

The Changing Pattern of Hemolytic Streptococcal Gangrene

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Loma Linda (Calif) University School of Medicine.

Arch Surg. 1982;117(5):561-567. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1982.01380290029006

• We reviewed nine cases in which either limb-threatening or life-threatening complications developed due to streptococcal infection. Our findings indicate important changes in the pattern of this fulminating illness since its original description in 1924. A higher mortality reflects increased longevity with a greater frequency of impaired host resistance and degenerative diseases involving vital organs. Initial symptoms and signs often mimic acute thrombophlebitis, acute arthritis, deep soft-tissue trauma, or acute vascular occlusion. The emergence of multiple organ failure and serious coagulation disorders are a challenge to current therapy. A diagnostic algorithm was developed to aid in the early diagnosis and management of this life-threatening infection.

(Arch Surg 1982;117:561-567)