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Diagnosis and misdiagnosis of necrotizing soft tissue infections: three case reports

Engelbert Schröpfer1*, Stephan Rauthe2 and Thomas Meyer1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of General-, Visceral-, Vascular- and Transplant-Surgery, Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany

2 Department of Pathology, Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany

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Cases Journal 2008, 1:252  doi:10.1186/1757-1626-1-252

Published: 20 October 2008



Today, gas gangrene is rare, but still many of the patients die, despite having received timely treatment.

Case presentation

This report highlights the cases of three different patients, who were transferred to our surgical department in 2006. The first patient (Patient_A), with the suspected diagnosis "femoral hematoma", a second patient (Patient_B) because of an "acute abdomen" and the third patient (Patient_C) with suspected gas gangrene of the right leg.


The first two cases demonstrate gas gangrene should always be kept in mind, especially in high-risk-patients. Though, the third case shows that severe consequences because of a precipitate diagnosis can be avoided by careful evaluation.