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Functional outcomes of Fournier’s gangrene: a multi-institutional experience
College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Apr  2023 (Vol.  30, Issue  2, Pages( 11487 - 11494)
PMID: 37074748


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  • Introduction:

    Fournier’s gangrene (FG), is a progressive, necrotizing soft tissue infection of the external genitalia, perineum, and/or anorectal region. How treatment and recovery from FG impacts quality of life related to sexual and general health is poorly characterized. Our purpose is to evaluate the long term impact of FG on overall and sexual quality of life using standardized questionnaires through a multi-institutional observational study.

    Materials and methods:

    Multi-institutional retrospective data were collected by standardized questionnaires on patient-reported outcome measures including the Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (CSFQ) and the Veterans RAND 36 (VR-36) survey of general health-related quality of life. Data were collected via telephone call, email, and certified mail, with a 10% response rate. There was no incentive for patient participation.


    Thirty-five patients responded to the survey, with 9 female and 26 male patients. All patients in the study underwent surgical debridement between 2007-2018 at three tertiary care centers. Further reconstructions were performed for 57% of respondents. Values for respondents with overall lower sexual function were reduced in all component categories (pleasure, desire/ frequency, desire/interest, arousal/excitement, orgasm/ completion), and trended toward male sex, older age, longer time from initial debridement to reconstruction, and poorer self-reported general health-related quality of life metrics.


    FG is associated with high morbidity and significant decreases in quality of life across general and sexual functional domains.