Analysis of prognostic factors affecting mortality in Fournier’s gangrene: A study of 72 cases
Introduction: Fournier’s gangrene is a rapidly progressing necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum and genital area associated with a high mortality rate. We presented our experience in managing this entity and identified prognostic factors affecting mortality.
Methods: We carried out a retrospective study of 72 patients treated for Fournier’s gangrene at our institution between January 2005 and December 2014. Patients were divided into survivors and nonsurvivors and potential prognostic factors were analyzed.
Results: Of the 72 patients, 64 were males (89%) and 8 females (11%), with a mean age of 51 years. The most common predisposing factor was diabetes mellitus (38%). The mortality rate was 17% (12 patients died). Statistically significant differences were not found in age, gender, and predisposing factors, except in heart disease (p = 0.038). Individual laboratory parameters significantly correlating with mortality included hemoglobin (p = 0.023), hematocrit (p = 0.019), serum urea (p = 0.009), creatinine (p = 0.042), and potassium (p = 0.026). Severe sepsis on admission and the extent of affected surface area also predicted higher mortality. Others factors, such as duration of symptoms before admission, number of surgical debridement, diverting colostomy and length of hospital stay, did not show significant differences. The median Fournier’s Gangrene Severity Index (FGSI) was significantly higher in non-survivors (p = 0.002).
Conclusion: Fournier’s gangrene is a severe surgical emergency requiring early diagnosis and aggressive therapy. Identification of prognostic factors is essential to establish an optimal treatment and to improve outcome. The FGSI is a simple and valid method for predicting disease severity and patient survival.
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