Necrotizing fasciitis: case report and review of literature

Acta Chir Belg. 2007 Jan-Feb;107(1):29-36. doi: 10.1080/00015458.2007.11680007.


We report a case of necrotizing fasciitis of the lower limb. This medico-surgical emergency is a life-threatening invasive soft-tissue infection which primarily involves the fascia superficialis and rapidly extends along subcutaneous tissue with relative sparing of skin and underlying muscles. Clinical presentation includes fever, signs of systemic toxicity and pain out of proportion to clinical findings. Paucity of cutaneous findings early in the course of the disease makes diagnosis challenging. The confirmation of the diagnosis is often made after surgical debridement. Delay in diagnosis and/or treatment correlates with poor outcome, leading to sepsis and/or multiple organ failure. Radiologic studies including plain radiographs, CT-scan or MRI may help to diagnose necrotizing fasciitis. Prompt surgical debridement, intravenous antibiotics, fluids and electrolytes management and analgesia are mainstays of the therapy. Adjuvant treatments like clindamycin, hyperbaric oxygen therapy and intravenous immunoglobulins are discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amputation, Surgical
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Debridement
  • Fasciitis, Necrotizing / diagnosis*
  • Fasciitis, Necrotizing / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leriche Syndrome / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Necrosis / etiology
  • Pain / etiology
  • Penicillins / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin / pathology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Penicillins