Necrotizing soft tissue infections

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Purpose of review

The purpose of this review is to consider recent advances in the definition, pathogenesis, diagnostic criteria, and treatment of necrotizing soft tissue infections.

Recent findings

The efficacy of early surgical debridement combined with antimicrobial therapy, close monitoring and physiologic support is strongly demonstrated. Novel therapeutic strategies including vacuum-assisted wound-closure therapy and intravenous immunoglobulin have been described.


Necrotizing soft-tissue infection is a rare infection of the subcutaneous tissue and fascia that is often associated with sepsis and can progress rapidly with a possible fatal outcome. Although the cause is not yet understood fully, patients often have a prior history of a small, trivial trauma, wound, or scratch. Establishing the diagnosis can be the main challenge in treating patients, and knowledge of all available tools is key for early and accurate diagnosis.

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