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Vascular Necrosis

Clinical Overview

Reviewed by Brian R. Robinson, MD

Vascular necrosis is a condition where living tissue dies due to lack of blood supply. When tissue does not receive adequate blood flow, cells die and cease their normal function, resulting in areas of dead tissue. Trauma, radiation, or chemicals can all cause vascular necrosis, which appears as a blue or black discoloration on the skin.

If a large area of tissue death occurs, the condition is called gangrene. Gangrene is potentially very dangerous. Dead tissue is susceptible to infection due to the ease with which bacteria grows in the absence of the circulatory system’s ability to reach the area and provide immune defense, and in the case of large areas of dead tissue, the risk is even greater.

Last updated: Jan-01-00

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