Gas gangrene is a severe form of gangrene (tissue death) caused by the bacterium Clostridium perfringens. It generally occurs at a wound or surgical site, causing painful swelling and destruction of involved tissue. Gas gangrene is rapidly progressive and often fatal.
Review Date: 12/10/2015
Reviewed By: 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, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.