Malignant Edema

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malignant edema

[mə′līg·nənt i′dē·mə]
(veterinary medicine)
Inflammatory edema associated with certain infections, especially an acute wound infection in wild and domestic animals.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Malignant Edema


gas infection, gas gangrene, or wound gas edema, an acute infectious disease of animals and man. It is characterized by the rapid spread of inflammatory edemas with gas, necrosis of the affected tissues, and systemic intoxication.

Malignant edema is caused by anaerobic microbes that penetrate the body through injured skin, mucous membranes, and other tissues. The causative agents are very common in nature. They occur in rotting organic matter, in soil, and in the intestinal contents. Depending on the species of animal, microorganism, and site, malignant edema occurs either as an inflammation of the muscles or as blood infection.

The clinical symptoms are high temperature, weakening of cardiac activity, edemas, and necrosis of tissues. An infected animal dies within 12–72 hours. Treatment calls for the administration of antibiotics and sulfanilamides upon diagnosis; the wounds are treated surgically. Prophylaxis requires observing the rules of asepsis during surgery and childbirth and preventing wounds from becoming contaminated.


“Zlokachestvennyi otek.” In Ia. R. Kovalenko, Anaerobnye infektsii sel’skokhoziaistvennykh zhivotnykh. Moscow, 1954. Page 223.
“Zlokachestvennyi otek.” In Chastnaia epizootologiia, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1954. Page 34.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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