6. Gangraena sicca of the toes

Last updated on January 17, 2019 at 16:12

Organ: Toes

Description:

We can see an amputated foot. The fourth toe is blackish-yellowish-greyish in color.

Diagnosis: Dry gangrene / gangraena sicca of the toes

Causes:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Untreated diabetes
  • Hypertension

Theory:

Gangrene has two phases, dry (sicca) and wet (humida). Gangrene will become wet if there is a bacterial infection on top of the dry gangrene. Despite how dry gangrene is classified as coagulative type of necrosis, wet gangrene can be classified as liquefactive necrosis, due to how the tissue is liquefied by bacteria.

Gangrene often affects the smallest arteries, meaning that toes and fingers are most commonly affected.

Dry gangrene can only be treated with amputation. This is because if the dry gangrene develops into wet gangrene, the infection can spread into the systemic circulation and cause sepsis.

See theory topic 4.

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