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Gangrene is necrosis of tissue or organ which is usually followed by decomposition of tissue and the effect of decay bacteria. Premature death of cells and living tissue (necrosis) is a result of disturbed blood circulation caused by various reasons (injuries, diseases, infections).

Causes of Gangrene

Gangrene primarily occurs as a result of lack of oxygen (hypoxia) in cells and tissues, caused by the disordered blood flow in a certain part of the body, which further leads to necrosis and gangrene extinction of the affected body part.

It most commonly occurs as a result of various processes such as:infections - anaerobic wound infections and anaerobic infections of muscles and bones,diseases - atherosclerosis , diabetes , smoking , Birger's disease, use of corticosteroids, malignant diseases of the digestive tract, AIDS, Raynaud's disease, hypoalbuminemia intravenous drug addiction. injuries (trauma) - crush injury, severe burns and frostbite.Gangrene can affect any part of the body, but is usually localized to the limbs or their parts (fingers, legs and arms, feet, shins).

Dry Gangrene

Dry gangrene is caused by reduced blood flow through the arteries. It occurs gradually and progresses slowly. It becomes infected and may subsequently pass into the wet form of gangrene in a later stage of its development. With this type of gangrene, tissue becomes cold and black, begins to dry, and at the end, the gangrenous part mummifies and wastes. Dry gangrene is common in patients with clogged arteries (atherosclerosis), increased amount of cholesterol and blood sugar (diabetes), genetic and other disorders and those who smoke.

Also, an autoimmune disease that attacks the blood vessels (vasculitis syndrome) can cause blood flow disorder and the creation of dry gangrene.

Dry gangrene may be caused by other mechanisms such as burns, frostbite, injury to arteries caused by various accidents, crush and other injuries or surgical procedures.

Wet Gangrene

Wet gangrene occurs as a complication during the treatment of contaminated (infected) wounds. Swelling caused by bacterial infection causes a sudden stopping blood flow. Cessation of blood flow allows the invasion and multiplication of bacteria in the muscle. Immune system and blood cells (leukocytes) cannot help in preventing infection in contaminated wound due to various disorders caused by disease.

Wet gangrene can be caused by all of the above mechanisms, if they are accompanied by the appearance of infection. Although, many species of microorganisms (mainly bacteria) are involved in the development of wet gangrene, the most represented is anaerobic bacteria such as Clostridium perfringens that grows and reproduces itself in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic conditions). This type of bacteria causes a specific form of wet gangrene - gas gangrene.

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