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J Urol. 1991 Jul;146(1):148-51.

Mixed acid fermentation of glucose as a mechanism of emphysematous urinary tract infection.

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Department of Internal Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan, Republic of China.


Emphysematous pyelonephritis is a severe necrotizing infection that usually occurs in patients with diabetes mellitus or obstructive uropathy. Although glucose fermentation has been considered as the main cause of gas production the actual mechanism remains controversial. Compositions of gas samples from 2 patients with emphysematous pyelonephritis recently encountered were analyzed, and showed 15% hydrogen, 4.8% carbon dioxide, 60% nitrogen, 6.7% oxygen and some unknown gases in case 1, and 3.4% hydrogen, 22% carbon dioxide, 66% nitrogen and 9.8% oxygen in case 2. These results tend to implicate mixed acid fermentation of glucose as the pathway by which emphysematous urinary tract infections develop.

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