Fournier's Gangrene

Early recognition and high clinical suspicion are important in making a timely diagnosis, as early manifestations are often subtle - Jonathan Auerbach

Fournier's Gangrene
Fournier's Gangrene

image by: Un Jour un Timbre - éphéméride Philatélique - Philatimbre

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Fournier Gangrene – Yesterday and Today

The French professor of dermatology and venerology, Jean Alfred Fournier (1832 - 1914) is generally regarded as the man who gave his name to Fournier's disease. His research and areas of interest, however, focused more on the then extensive field of syphilitic diseases. However other researchers had also looked at this topic long before Fournier and written about their theories: in 1764, Baurienne described a similar picture, and much earlier than this, the "Canon of Medicine", written in the 10th Century by the Persian doctor and scholar Avicenna, mentions symptoms and treatment. Herod the Great is a famous example, whom many believe to have died in the 4 B.C. from Fournier gangrene.


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  Fournier Gangrene – Yesterday and Today

The treatment mantra remains as previously: prompt, radical surgical debridement with antibiotic broad-spectrum therapy in an intensive care environment. Surgical intervention should take place within the first 24 hours, since this significantly increases the chances of survival.

EMCrit Project

Pain is generally the most useful finding...

Emory School of Medicine

Necrotizing fasciitis remains a clinical diagnosis, but early in the course of illness, the clinical findings can be subtle. Bedside evidence of soft tissue gas can elevate the urgency of specialist consultation and time to diagnosis.


Symptoms include fever, general discomfort (malaise), moderate to severe pain and swelling in the genital and anal areas (perineal) followed by rankness and smell of the affected tissues (fetid suppuration) leading to full blown (fulminating) gangrene.


Fournier gangrene is a fulminant, spreading necrotizing infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissue of the scrotum, genitalia and/or perineum, which was first reported by Fournier in 1883.


Fournier gangrene is a rapidly progressive, life-threatening infectious process that involves the genital and perineal areas. The disease is one of the few urological emergencies and requires prompt surgical debridement as well as antibiotic therapy.

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