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Spontaneous gas gangrene in a patient with Crohn’s disease

Yash P. Vaidya, Tanvi P. Vaidya

Am J Case Rep 2012; 13:241-243

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.883493


Background:    Spontaneous gas gangrene is necrosis of muscles in the absence of trauma, causing an acutely painful and potentially fatal condition. However, the occurrence of this condition in Crohn’s disease has been very rarely documented.
    Case Report:    In this extremely rare case we describe an occurrence of spontaneous gas gangrene, in a known case of Crohn’s disease. The patient presented with fever and pain in the left arm and abdomen. After admission and initial management with antibiotics, the patient developed crepitus in the arm and myonecrosis necessitating a fasciotomy and later an emergency amputation of his left upper limb.
        The pathogenesis of gas gangrene in inflammatory bowel disease is not fully understood. Management includes aggressive antibiotic administration followed by amputation of the non-salvageable limb.
    Conclusions:    A high index of suspicion of such rare complications is a must and surgical intervention is life saving; however, the efficacy of anti-gas gangrene serum is controversial. We recommend use of a multipronged approach in such cases with high mortality rates.

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