Necrotizing soft tissue infection

Last revised by Henry Knipe on 17 Jun 2019

Necrotizing soft tissue infections are a category of bacterial infection characterized by rapidly progressive tissue destruction involving the skin, subcutaneous fat, deep fascia, and/or muscle.


Traditionally, such infections have been separated by the depth of involvement 1,2:

For several reasons, however, the overarching term of "necrotizing soft tissue infection" has been promoted. Involvement of adjacent levels can occur and, adding to the confusion, different authors and practitioners disagree on the definition of fascia 2,3. Moreover, the pathophysiology and clinical manifestations overlap. Most importantly, the management strategy for different necrotizing soft tissue infections is similar 1,4-6.

See also

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: necrotizing fasciitis
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  • Case 2: Fournier gangrene
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  • Case 3: necrotizing fasciitis
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