Gangrene is the progressive death of body tissue resulting from a lack of blood supply and infection. When the blood supply is cut off, the tissue does not get enough oxygen and begins to die.
Gangrene can be internal or external. The two most common types of gangrene are:
A rare wet type called gas gangrene, develops from specific bacteria deep inside the body. Gas gangrene can be a result of surgery or trauma.
Gangrene is caused by infection or a reduced blood supply to tissues.
Gangrene is more common in older adults.
Other factors that may increase your chance of gangrene include:
External gangrene may cause:
Internal gangrene may cause:
If the gangrene is widespread, sepsis can occur.
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You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with:
Treatment of gangrene includes:
To help reduce your chances of gangrene:
American Diabetes Association
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
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Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP Last Updated: 9/29/2014