Gangrene is the death of tissue in part of the body.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Gangrene happens when a body part loses its blood supply. This may happen from injury, an infection, or other causes. You have a higher risk for gangrene if you have:
- A serious injury
- Blood vessel disease (such as arteriosclerosis, also called hardening of the arteries, in your arms or legs)
- Suppressed immune system (for example, from HIV or chemotherapy)
Review Date: 08/28/2009
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.