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THE JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY
Rivista di Chirurgia Cardiaca, Vascolare e Toracica
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,632
REVIEW ARTICLES THORACIC SECTION
The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2002 August;43(4):549-52
Necrotizing soft tissue infection of the chest wall
Losanoff J. E., Richman B. W., Jones J. W.
Department of Surgery Health Sciences Center University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine Columbia, MO, USA
Necrotizing soft tissue infection (NSTI) of the chest wall is a relatively rare but highly lethal surgical infection which has received little attention in the medical and surgical literature. The data reported are based on a literature review, including a Medline database search, and search of existing bibliographies. Twenty well-documented cases of primary chest wall involvement by NSTI were found. Thirteen patients were male. Patients’ ages ranged from 10 weeks to 78 years. Thirteen patients were postoperative (65%). The diagnosis was initially considered in only 3 of the postoperative cases, a cause of significant delays in surgical treatment. Among those who lived long enough for their wounds to close, 2 had secondary healing, 5 experienced delayed skin grafting over the granulating wound, and 1 had skin grafting combined with muscle transfer. Mortality was 60%. Chest wall NSTI is a rapidly spreading, highly lethal infection. A high index of suspicion, early diagnosis, and aggressive approach are essential to its successful treatment.