Dry gangrene

Dry gangrene
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Gangrene is the result of critically insufficient blood supply (e.g., peripheral vascular disease). This condition is most common in the lower extremities. The best treatment for gangrene is revascularization (i.e., restoration of blood flow) of the affected organ, which can reverse some of the effects of necrosis and allow healing. Other treatments include debridement and surgical amputation. In general the method of treatment is determined by location of affected tissue and extent of tissue loss.

The arterial occlusive disease (AOD) is caused by atherosclerotic plaques narrowing the vessels and consequently leads to a mismatch between the arterial blood supply and oxygen demand of the tissue.

If this affects mainly the extremities, it is called peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD). In 90% of the cases of  PAOD atherosclerosis can be regarded as the cause.

Peripheral artery occlusive disease is commonly divided in the Fontaine stages:

  • Stage I: Asymptomatic, mostly an incidental finding (eg, lack of peripheral pulses)
  • Stage II: Intermittent claudication; we distinguish IIa (>200m symptom-free walking distance) and IIb (<200m symptom-free walking distance)
  • Stage III: Pain persists while resting
  • Stage IV: Tissue loss; necrosis, ulceration, gangrene

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 - Uploaded at 11.07.2010
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