The death of body tissue due to the loss of blood supply to that tissue, sometimes permitting bacteria to invade it and accelerate its decay. The word "gangrene" comes from the Greek "ganggraina" denoting "an eating sore that ends in mortification" (of the flesh). Gas gangrene involves the invasion of a deep penetrating wound (in which the blood supply is compromised) by anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that can survive with little or no oxygen) such as members of Clostridium family of bacteria. The bacteria generate gas and pus. Gas gangrene is an acute, painful, dangerous condition. Dry gangrene is the death of tissue due to vascular insufficiency without bacterial invasion. The tissue simply dries up and shrivels.
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1. Necrosis due to obstruction, loss, or diminution of blood supply; it may be localized to a small area or involve an entire extremity or organ (such as the bowel), and may be wet or dry. SYN: mortification. 2. Extensive necrosis from any cause, e.g., gas g.. [G. gangraina, an eating sore, fr. grao, to gnaw]
- arteriosclerotic g. dry g. resulting from sclerotic changes in the arteries, with subsequent occlusion, as in the aged.
- cold g. SYN: dry g..
- cutaneous g. g. of the skin characterized by sloughing; may occur in shingles or in any acute infection that interferes with superficial circulation.
- decubital g. SYN: decubitus ulcer.
- diabetic g. g. resulting from arteriosclerosis associated with diabetes.
- disseminated cutaneous g. SYN: dermatitis gangrenosa infantum.
- dry g. a form of g. in which the involved part is dry, sharply demarcated, and shriveled; usually due to slowly occlusive vascular disease. SYN: cold g., mummification (1).
- embolic g. g. resulting from obstruction of an artery by an embolus.
- emphysematous g. SYN: gas g..
- Fournier g. SYN: Fournier disease.
- gas g. g. occurring in a wound infected with various anaerobic sporeforming bacteria, especially Clostridium perfringens and C. novyi, which cause rapidly advancing crepitation of the surrounding tissues, due to gas liberated by bacterial fermentation, and constitutional toxic and septic symptoms including cytotoxic damage to kidney, liver, and other organs. SYN: clostridial myonecrosis, emphysematous g., gangrenous emphysema, progressive emphysematous necrosis.
- hemorrhagic g. 1. SYN: hemorrhagic infarct. 2. g. occurring rarely in advanced meningococcal septicemia.
- hospital g. SYN: decubitus ulcer.
- hot g. g. following inflammation of the part.
- Meleney g. SYN: Meleney ulcer.
- moist g. SYN: wet g..
- presenile spontaneous g. g. occurring in middle life as a result of thromboangiitis obliterans.
- pressure g. SYN: decubitus ulcer.
- senile g. dry g. occurring in the aged in consequence of occlusion of an artery, particularly affecting the extremities.
- spontaneous g. of newborn g. due to vascular occlusion of unknown cause, usually in marasmic or dehydrated infants.
- static g. moist g. due to obstruction in the return circulation. SYN: venous g..
- symmetrical g. g. affecting the extremities of both sides of the body; it is seen particularly in severe arteriosclerosis, myocardial infarction, and ball-valve thrombus.
- thrombotic g. g. due to occlusion of an artery by a thrombus.
- trophic g. SYN: trophic ulcer.
- venous g. SYN: static g..
- wet g. ischemic necrosis of an extremity with bacterial putrefaction, producing cellulitis adjacent to the necrotic areas. SYN: moist g..
- white g. death of a part accompanied by the formation of grayish white sloughs. SYN: leukonecrosis.

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gan·grene 'gaŋ-.grēn, gaŋ-', 'gan-., gan-' n local death of soft tissues due to loss of blood supply
gangrene vb, gan·grened; gan·gren·ing vt to make gangrenous vi to become gangrenous

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death and decay of part of the body due to deficiency or cessation of blood supply. The causes include disease, injury, or atheroma in major blood vessels, frostbite or severe burns, and diseases such as diabetes mellitus and Raynaud's disease. Dry gangrene is death and withering of tissues caused simply by a cessation of local blood circulation. Moist gangrene is death and putrefactive decay of tissue caused by bacterial infection. See also gas gangrene.

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gan·grene (gangґgrēn) [L. gangraena; Gr. gangraina an eating sore] death of tissue, usually in considerable mass and generally associated with loss of vascular (nutritive) supply; it can be followed by bacterial invasion and putrefaction (wet gangrene). Cf. necrosis and necrobiosis. gangrenous adj

Medical dictionary. 2011.