(Received 4 November 1991; accepted 28 January 1992)
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Spontaneous, nontraumatic clostridial myonecrosis is a rare infection with an insidious onset and usually fatal outcome. Spontaneous clostridial myonecrosis has a frequent association with colon carcinoma, leukemia, diabetes mellitus, and drug-induced immuno-suppression. We present the case of a 73-year-old diabetic man who died of spontaneous Clostridium septicum myonecrosis, who had presented with fulminant gangrene of the right thigh. Clostridium septicum was cultured from the quadriceps muscle postmortem.
At autopsy, in addition to the gangrene, there was a Duke's A adenocarcinoma of the cecum, which had not been diagnosed during life. When spontaneous nontraumatic clostridial myonecrosis is diagnosed at autopsy, investigation should include thorough exam and the obtaining of past medical history in order to elucidate predisposing factors.
Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Butterworth Hospital, Grand Rapids, MI
Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Jackson, MI
Forensic Pathologist, Blodgett Memorial Medical Center, Grand Rapids, MI
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