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Diseases » Gangrene » Glossary

Glossary for Gangrene

  • Amputation: Loss of a limb or extremity from trauma or accident.
  • Aneurysm: Dangerous ballooning of a weakened area of an artery
  • Anthrax: A serious infectious bacterial disease that can be fatal.
  • Atherosclerosis: Atherosclerosis is a syndrome affecting arterial blood vessels. It is a chronic inflammatory response in the walls of arteries, in large part due to the accumulation of macrophage white blood cells and promoted by low density (especially small particle) lipoproteins (plasma proteins that carry cholesterol and triglycerides) without adequate removal of fats and cholesterol from the macrophages by functional high density lipoproteins (HDL). It is commonly referred to as a hardening or furring of the arteries. It is caused by the formation of multiple plaques within the arteries.
  • Bacillaceae Infections: Infection with bacteria from the Bacillaceae family. Bacillaceae infection can cause a variety of diseases depending on the specific bacteria involved e.g. anthrax, tetanus, botulism.
  • Bacterial diseases: Diseases caused by a bacterial infection
  • Buerger's disease: Buergers's disease is a recurring inflammation and thrombosis (clotting) of small and medium arteries and veins of the hands and feet
  • Calcinosis cutis: Deposit of calcium in the skin tissues. The deposits can result from skin that has suffered damage, inflammation, cancer or necrosis. It can also occur when there is abnormal calcium and phosphate metabolism within the body such as occurs when there are high blood calcium and/or phosphate levels. In other cases, it occurs for no apparent reason. One or more lesions may be present and the size and severity can vary considerably depending on the underlying cause. Some cases are benign and pose no problem.
  • Carbuncle: Group of multiple boils
  • Chemical burn: A chemical burn is a burn caused by a chemical. Symptoms vary depending on the chemical, the part of the body affected and the duration of the exposure to the chemical. Rapid first aid following exposure can limit the damage caused by the chemical. Chemical burns can occur when certain chemicals are accidentally swallowed, spilt on the skin, splashed in the eyes or even breathed in the case of chemical gases.
  • Chills: Excessive feeling of coldness.
  • Cholera: An acute bacterial disease transmitted through food or water contaminated with human faeces. The intestinal infection is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.
  • Claudication pain: Pain that occurs in the legs when walking or exercising. It is usually the result of circulation problems which affects the flow of blood to the leg muscles. In severe cases, the pain may persist even when the patient is inactive.
  • Claviceps purpurea poisoning: Claviceps purpurea is a type of fungus that can contaminate grains such as rye, wheat, oats and barely. Ingestion of contaminated foods can cause poisoning with the severity of symptoms varying depending on the amount consumed.
  • Crush injury: An injury caused by a crushing mechanism
  • Dark skin: Darkening of the skin as a symptom
  • Death: The cessation of life
  • Delirium: Severe state of mental confusion
  • Diabetes: Failing or reduced ability of the body to handle sugars.
  • Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Diabetic nerve damage affecting toes, feet, and sometimes hands.
  • Dressler (D.)syndrome: A rare autoimmune blood disorder where erythrocytes are destroyed suddenly after exposure to cold (usually 15°C or lower).
  • Dry Gangrene: Tissue death (necrosis) due to lack of blood supply causing the affected tissue to become dry and black; occurs without bacterial infection and cellulitis.
  • Dystrophic calcinosis cutis: Deposit of calcium in the skin tissues resulting from some type of damage to the skin e.g. trauma, inflammation, cancer, necrosis. One or more lesions may be present and the size and severity can vary.
  • Embolism: Blockage of an artery or blood vessel
  • Erysipelas: A severe streptococcal bacterial infection where infection spreads from the skin to tissue underneath. The face and extremities are the usual sites affected.
  • Erythromelalgia: A rare disorder characterized by periods of burning pain, redness and warmth in the feet and hands.
  • Frostbite: Tissue damage from freezing
  • Gas gangrene: A condition characterized by death of tissue usually followed by bacterial invasion and putrefaction
  • Hernia: General term for an organ protruding where it should not.
  • Iatrogenic calcinosis cutis: Deposit of calcium in the skin tissues that occurs following surgery.
  • Idiopathic calcinosis cutis: Deposit of calcium in the skin tissues for no apparent reason. Calcium deposits are usually confined to one general area.
  • Injury: Any damage inflicted in the body
  • Intussusception: Bowel folding into itself sometimes creating bowel obstruction
  • Leprosy: A chronic, progressive infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae which causes skin sores and also affects the eyes, mucous membranes and peripheral nerves.
  • Leukemia: Cancer of the blood cells, usually white blood cells.
  • Leukocyte adhesion deficiency type 1: A rare inherited disorder characterized by abnormal neutrophil functioning which reduces the body's immunity. The abnormal neutrophils are unable to be transported to sites of infection due to their inability to adhere to certain blood vessel components which would normally lead them to the infection site. Infections may be life-threatening as the body is unable to destroy bacteria effectively. Type 1 LAD specifically involves a lack of receptor proteins on the neutrophil which prevents it from adhering.
  • Limping: Walking with a limp or other gait problem
  • Local redness: The localized red discolouration of a body part
  • Lupus: Autoimmune disease with numerous effects on various organs and linings.
  • Malaria: A parasitic disease transmitted through mosquito bites.
  • Marasmus: A form of malnutrition caused by a severe deficiency of both protein and calories
  • Measles: Once common viral infection now rare due to vaccination.
  • Metastatic calcinosis cutis: Deposit of calcium in the skin tissues that results from sme sort of connective tissue or metabolic disorder. It occurs when there is abnormal calcium and phosphate metabolism within the body such as occurs when there are high blood calcium and/or phosphate levels. Usually the deposits are widespread and frequently occur around the large joints in the body.
  • Myelitis: Spinal cord inflammation.
  • Myositis: One of the underlying causes for muscle weakness/myopathy.
  • Necrosis: Tissue death as a symptom
  • Necrotizing fasciitis: A severe, progressive skin infection which causes progressive destruction of skin and underlying tissue. It is caused by certain bacteria and has a high mortality rate.
  • Nicolau syndrome: A rare complication resulting from the injection of a drug into an artery instead of the muscles where it was intended.
  • Noma: A rare disorder characterized by gangrenous sores that spread rapidly and usually start in the mouth or lips. It mostly occurs in undernourished children living in poor, unhygienic conditions.
  • Nothnagel acroparesthesia: Stiffness, numbness and tingling in the extremities caused by blood vessel dilation and constriction abnormalities.
  • Numbness: Loss of feeling or sensation
  • Penis tourniquet syndrome: Symptoms caused by putting a tight ring on the penis.
  • Peripheral neuritis: A condition characterized by inflammation of the peripheral nerves
  • Peripheral vascular disease: Disease of arteries supplying the legs or sometimes arms
  • Plague: A rare but serious bacterial infection involving the bacterium Yersinia Pestis which can be carried by rodents and transmitted to humans by flea bites or through direct contact with an infected animal.
  • Poisoning: The condition produced by poison
  • Polyarteritis nodosa: A serious blood vessel disease where small and medium-sized arteries become swollen and damaged and are unable to adequately supply oxygenated blood to various tissues in the body. The disease can occur in a mild form or a serious, rapidly fatal form.
  • Pott gangrene: Tissue death that usually occurs in the extremities of elderly people as a result of arterial blockages. The toes are most commonly affected.
  • Primary hyperoxaluria type 1: A rare inherited inborn metabolic disorder characterized by excessive amounts of oxalate in the urine and deposits of oxalate in the kidneys which leads to progressive kidney failure. There are two subtypes of Oxalosis, each with a different origin for the genetic defect involved. Type 1 involves a deficiency of a liver enzyme called Alanine-glyoxylate aminotransferase. Type 2 tends to cause a milder disease than type 1 with better longterm outcomes.
  • Raynaud's phenomenon: Blood vessel constriction attacks affecting fingers and/or toes.
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever: A bacterial disease caused by Rickettsia rickettsii and transmitted by ticks. The condition causes fever and a characteristic rash and may be fatal in severe or untreated cases.
  • Septic shock: serious medical condition caused by decreased tissue perfusion and oxygen delivery as a result of infection and sepsis, though the microbe may be systemic or localized to a particular site
  • Septicemia: A systemic inflammatory response to an infection.
  • Smoking: The smoking of cigarettes
  • St. Anthony's fire: Very painful burning sensation in the arms and legs caused by excessive exposure to ergotamines. Ergotamines are produced by particular fungi. It is also a drug used for such things as migraine controls and to induce abortions. Ergotamines result in the constriction of blood vessels which can result in tissue death (gangrene) and is also toxic to nerves.
  • Syringomyelia: Spinal cord cysts
  • Tetanus: A disease caused by chemicals which are produced by a bacterium (clostridium tetani) and are toxic to the nerves. The infection usually occurs when the bacteria enter the body through a deep wound - these bacteria are anaerobic and hence don't need oxygen to survive.
  • Thrombosis: Blood clot occurring in a blood vessel
  • Tungiasis: A skin disease caused by a parasitic sand flea called Tunga penetrans which is found in the tropical parts of Africa. The female flea burrows into the skin (usually the feet) and causes localized itching and then pain. Usually the condition resolves itself but severe infestation can cause deformity and there is a risk of secondary infection and tetanus.
  • Typhus: A general name for various arthropod-borne rickettsial infections
  • Wet Gangrene: Tissue death (necrosis) due to bacterial infection, producing a cellulitis in areas adjacent to necrotic tissue
  • Wound Infection: Infection of a skin wound.
  • Yellow fever: A viral infection transmitted by mosquito bites which can damage various organs such as the liver, heart, kidney and digestive tract.


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