Fulminating Soft-Tissue Infections

  • George Calvert


Necrotizing soft-tissue infections are a rare but often fatal complication of cancer. Delay in diagnosis and surgical treatment of oncology patients afflicted with necrotizing infections is unfortunately common because classic signs and symptoms are frequently obscured by malignancy and its treatments. Malnutrition and immune compromise render surgical and medical management of this already life-threatening condition even more difficult. Pathophysiology, diagnostic criteria, epidemiology, physical examination, laboratory studies, and imaging of necrotizing fasciitis are reviewed. Current recommendations for surgical and antimicrobial treatment are provided. Differences between oncology patients and immune-competent individuals afflicted with these infections are emphasized. The need for new research and treatments to improve survival and lessen morbidity in this population is summarized, and some promising future treatment options are briefly described.

Keywords (MeSH terms)

Necrotizing fasciitis Necrotizing soft-tissue infection LRINEC score Immune compromised Gangrene Clinical guidelines Antibiotic therapy Surgical debridement 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of SurgeryCity of HopeDuarteUSA

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