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What is Gummatous Necrosis?

Instructor: Dan Washmuth

Dan has taught college Nutrition, Anatomy, Physiology, and Sports Nutrition courses and has a master's degree in Dietetics & Nutrition.

Gummatous necrosis is a form a necrosis that involves the growth of non-cancerous tissues during the late stages of syphilis. Learn all about gummatous necrosis in this lesson.

Gummatous Necrosis

Heather is a second grade teacher who was diagnosed with syphilis many years ago, but she never received treatment for this disease. Normally, her syphilis is latent, meaning that she does not have any symptoms. However, just recently she has noticed a growth on her skin. This growth was made up of firm tissue that was swollen and painful to the touch.

Heather decided to go her doctor to get this growth checked out. When visiting her doctor, she told him that she has syphilis. After performing several tests, the doctor informed Heather that she has gummatous necrosis.

Gummatous Necrosis: Description

Gummatous necrosis is a form of necrosis that involves the growth of non-cancerous tissues during late stages of syphilis. These growths are often firm or rubbery, swollen, and often tender or painful to the touch. These growths most often occur on the liver, but can also occur on the skin, heart, brain, bone, genitals, and other tissues.

Gummatous necrosis most often occurs in the liver, but it can also occur on the skin, heart, brain, and other tissues.
gumma

Gummatous necrosis is fairly rare in the developed Western world, but it can be quite common in less developed countries whose inhabitants do not have access to regular medical care. Syphilis is a curable condition. However, an individual infected with syphilis in an underdeveloped country is less likely to receive adequate medical care and the treatment necessary to cure this disease. Therefore, they are more likely to end up with late stage syphilis and, as a result, gummatous necrosis.

Gummatous Necrosis: Causes

As it was previously mentioned, gummatous necrosis in caused by syphilis. Syphilis is caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum and can be transmitted through sexual contact.

Gummatous necrosis is caused by syphilis, which is a sexually transmitted disease.
syphilis

This disease has three main stages, which include:

  • Primary stage: A person will likely develop sores on their skin, usually around 3 weeks after exposure to the bacteria. These sores will go away on their own.
  • Secondary stage: This stage usually begins a couple months after exposure. During this stage, rashes often develop on the palms of the hand and the soles of the feet.
  • Tertiary stage: This stage occurs several years after exposure and often involves serious complications to vital organs like the heart and brain; the nerves can also be affected. These complications can cause dementia, blindness, or even death. This is also the stage that gummatous necrosis occurs.

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