Which histologic findings are characteristic of Fournier gangrene?

Updated: Jun 03, 2021
  • Author: Vernon M Pais, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Answer

Pathologic evaluation of the involved tissue may reveal the following pathognomonic findings of Fournier gangrene:

  • Necrosis of the superficial and deep fascial planes

  • Fibrinoid thrombosis of the nutrient arterioles

  • Polymorphonuclear cell infiltration

  • Microorganisms identified within the involved tissues

Fibrinoid thrombosis of the nutrient vessels that supply the superficial and deep fascia is the finding that most commonly indicates Fournier disease. Widespread necrosis of the fascia with acute inflammatory cell infiltration and necrotic debris is frequently evident, as is the presence of causative microorganisms within the tissues.

This extensive inflammatory process is frequently present deep to intact skin. The skin itself is often minimally involved with the inflammatory process until late in the course of the disease.


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