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an acute, diffuse, purulent inflammation of adipose tissue. Unlike an abscess, a phlegmon lacks precise boundaries.

Phlegmons are classified by site. They may occur in many parts of the body, including the foot and the hand, and may be subcutaneous, subfascial, intermuscular, retroperitoneal, paranephric (paranephritis), pararectal (paraproctitis), or mediastinal. The causative agents are primarily staphilococci, other pyogenic microorganisms, and, less commonly, Escherichia coli and anaerobes. Phlegmons may also be classified according to the characteristics of the causative agents as suppurative, putrefactive, and anaerobic.

The causative agents penetrate the tissue through breaks in the skin or from nearby foci of infection, such as furuncles, dental caries, or suppurating lymph nodes. Sometimes they are brought to the site hematogenously—that is, through the bloodstream— from foci at some distance.

The symptoms of phlegmon include pain, edema, elevated body temperature, and chills; subcutaneous phlegmon has the added symptom of cutaneous hyperemia. The inflammatory process may spread to neighboring organs, and sepsis may develop.

Phlegmon is treated by exposing and draining the suppurative focus and by antibiotic therapy. It is prevented by keeping the skin clean, attending to minor injuries, and promptly treating pyodermas and other local foci of infection.


Voino-Iasenetskii, V. F. Ocherki gnoinoi khirurgii, 3rd ed. Leningrad, 1956.
Struchkov, V. I. Gnoinaia khirurgiia. Moscow, 1962.


References in periodicals archive ?
An odontogenic focus of the inflammation, and developing on its base inflammatory infiltration, abscess, and phlegmon in the surrounding soft tissue may be the source of inflammatory processes located in the regional and distant soft tissues, such as in the mediastinum, facial bones of the skull, paranasal sinuses, orbit, cavernous sinus, meninges, and the cerebrum as well as the spinal canal [5].
7 Localized soft-tissue fluid collections may represent either regions of localized cellulitis, phlegmon or abscesses.
Stage I has been divided into Ia Phlegmon and Ib confined pericolic abscess in later modifications (38, 72)
Comparison of ceftiofur sodium and oxitetracycline for treatment of acute interdigital phlegmon (foot rot) in feedlot cattle.
In the clinic course of the lumbar region phlegmon we drain all purulent leakages, the wound is managed in the opened way and fecal fistula is closed by conservative way.
This inflammatory phlegmon is presumed to be associated with a vasculitic process surrounding the splenic artery aneurysm as reflected by the initial raised inflammatory markers.
Computerized tomography (CT) scan of the orbits revealed bilateral maxillary sinusitis (Figure 2) and preseptal and subperiosteal phlegmon involving the medial wall of the orbit and dehiscence of the left ethmoid sinus roof at the level of the cribriform plate.
We report the findings of our 10-year study of 21 patients affected by phlegmon and/or fasciitis of the neck.
18) Phlegmon appears as a mass-like area of hyperintensity on T2-weighted imaging within the mesenteric fat, while abscesses are walled-off extraluminal fluid collections, sometimes containing susceptibility due to the presence of gas.
Among 355 patients of the 1st group toe gangrene with the foot phlegmon was registered in 219 (61.