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Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections

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Necrotizing soft tissue infections: delayed surgical treatment is associated with increased number of surgical debridements and morbidity.
Kobayashi L, Konstantinidis A, Shackelford S, Chan LS, Talving P, Inaba K, Demetriades D.
J Trauma. 2011 Nov;71(5):1400-5.

Rationale for inclusion: This more recent study found that a delay in surgical intervention >12 hours contributes to higher mortality, septic shock an renal failure, and is associated with an increased number of debridements than patients whose initial debridement is <12 hours after admission. This confirms that early initial debridement leads to improved outcomes in NSTI.

Citations - 48 (as of July 2017)

Diagnosis of necrotizing soft tissue infections by computed tomography.
Zacharias N, Velmahos GC, Salama A, Alam HB, de Moya M, King DR, Novelline RA.
Arch Surg. 2010 May;145(5):452-5.

Rationale for inclusion: While CT scan should not delay operative intervention for NSTI, this study finds that it may be a useful adjunct for ruling out the diagnosis of a necrotizing infection.

Citations - 70 (as of July 2017)

Outcome of necrotizing skin and soft tissue infections.
Gunter OL, Guillamondegui OD, May AK, Diaz JJ.
Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2008 Aug;9(4):443-50.

Rationale for inclusion: This study identifies risk factors for mortality, including APACHE II score and lactate levels. It also focuses on the benefit of primary management by an EGS service to facilitate prompt surgical intervention. 

Citations - 29 (as of July 2017)

Hyperbaric oxygen as adjuvant therapy in the management of necrotizing fasciitis.
Jallali N, Withey S, Butler PE.
Am J Surg. 2005 Apr;189(4):462-6.

Rationale for inclusion: This literature review does not find consistent evidence to support the routine use of HBO as an adjunctive therapy in the management of NSTI. These findings have since been corroborated in a recent Cochrane review that failed to locate relevant clinical evidence to support or refute the effectiveness of HBOT in the management of necrotizing fasciitis. Good quality clinical trials are needed to define the role of HBOT in the treatment of individuals with necrotizing fasciitis.

Citations - 168 (as of July 2017)

Predictors of mortality and limb loss in necrotizing soft tissue infection.
Anaya DA, McMahon K, Nathens AB, Sullivan SR, Foy H, Bulger E.
Arch Surg. 2005 Feb;140(2):151-7; discussion 158.

Rationale for inclusion: One of the largest cohort studies to determine predictors of mortality that include leukocytosis, elevated creatinine, presence of heart disease, shock and Clostridial infection.

Citations - 231 (as of July 2017)

LRINEC (laboratory risk indicator for necrotizing fasciitis) score: a tool for distinguishing necrotizing fasciitis from other soft tissue infections.
Wong CH, Khin LW, Heng KS, Tan KC, Low CO.
Crit Care Med. 2004 Jul;32(7):1535-41.

Rationale for inclusion: This well cited study discusses one of the most widely used scoring systems to assist with early diagnosis of NSTI. This validated scoring system is based on laboratory values found to be independent predictors of disease and can be used to guide management.

Citations - 678 (as of July 2017)

A simple model to help distinguish necrotizing fasciitis from nonnecrotizing soft tissue infection.
Wall DB, Klein SR, Black S, de Virgilio C.
J Am Coll Surg. 2000 Sep;191(3):227-31.

Rationale for inclusion: Although this is a smaller retrospective review to help distinguish between necrotizing and non-necrotizing infection, the model is simple and highly sensitive with a NPV of 99% for diagnosing necrotizing infection. This tool may be useful when other laboratory parameters (such as those required for the LRINEC score) are not available.

Citations - 206 (as of July 2017)

Aggressive surgical management of necrotizing fasciitis serves to decrease mortality: a retrospective study.
Bilton BD, Zibari GB, McMillan RW, Aultman DF, Dunn G, McDonald JC.
Am Surg. 1998 May;64(5):397-400; discussion 400-1.

Rationale for inclusion: Although this is a smaller retrospective review, the authors found that early surgical debridement leads to a significant reduction in mortality, highlighting the importance of early recognition and expeditious initial debridement in the management of NSTI.

Citations - 334 (as of July 2017)

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