Fournier’s Gangrene

Other Known Aliases – none

Definitionnecrotizing fasciitis of the external genitalia and/or perineum

Clinical Significance this infection commonly affects older men and is associated with diabetes mellitus or a compromised immune system. Other risk factors include trauma or surgery to the perineal area, alcoholism, and childbirth. Pain, erythema, crepitus, and fever are common findings and treatment is aggressive surgical debridement and antibiotics to cover anaerobic and facultative pathogens.

HistoryNamed after Jean Alfred Fournier (1832-1914), who was a French dermatologist and venereologist, and received his medical doctorate in 1860 while studying in Paris. He would begin his career as an understudy of Philippe Ricord at the Hôpital du Midi and would later become médecine des hôpitaux at the famed Hôtel-Dieu de Paris. It was in 1883 when he presented a case series of patients with gangrene of perineum and for which this eponym is attributed, although it was first described and published in 1764 by Baurienne. He is best known for his work with congenital syphilis (for which he has two additional eponyms) and advancing the study of venereal diseases and their connection to degenerative diseases.


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