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Urology. 2015 May;85(5):1052-1057. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2014.08.063. Epub 2015 Mar 11.

A contemporary analysis of Fournier gangrene using the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.

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University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
Department of Urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
Meriter-UnityPoint Health Services, Madison, WI.
Department of Urology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL.
Department of Urology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY.
Department of Urology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL. Electronic address:



To determine a nationwide contemporary description of surgical Fournier gangrene (FG) and necrotizing fasciitis of the genitalia (NFG) outcomes because historically reported mortality rates for FG and NFG are based on small single-institution studies from the 1980s and the 1990s.


The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program is a risk-adjusted surgical database used by nearly 400 hospitals nationwide, which tracks preoperative, intraoperative, and 30-day postoperative clinical variables. Data are extracted from patient charts by an independent surgical clinical reviewer at each hospital. Using the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program data from 2005 to 2009, we calculated 30-day mortality rates and identified preoperative factors associated with increased mortality.


A total of 650 patients were identified with surgery for FG or NFG. Fourteen patients with do not resuscitate orders placed preoperatively were excluded from analyses. For the remaining 636 patients, the overall 30-day mortality was 10.1% (64 of 636). Fifty-seven percent of patients (360 of 636) were men, 70% (446 of 636) were white, and 13% (81 of 636) were African American. Multivariate logistic regression indicated that increased age (odds ratio [OR], 1.041; P = .004), body mass index (OR, 1.045; P <.001), and preoperative white blood cell count (OR, 1.061; P = .001), and decreased platelet count (OR, 0.993; P <.001) were all associated with increased risk of death.


We determined a surgical mortality rate for FG-NFG of 10.1%. This rate is about half of historically published estimates and similar to recent studies. The lower rate may indicate improvements in therapy. Increased age, body mass index, and white blood cell count, and decreased platelet count were all associated with an increased risk of 30-day mortality.

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