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Pronunciation: no'ma

Definition: A gangrenous stomatitis, usually beginning in the mucous membrane of the corner of the mouth or cheek, and then progressing fairly rapidly to involve the entire thickness of the lips or cheek (or both), with conspicuous necrosis and complete sloughing of tissue; usually observed in poorly nourished children and debilitated adults, especially in poorer socioeconomic groups, and frequently preceded by another disease, kala azar, dysentery, or scarlet fever. A similar process (n. pudendi, noma vulvae) also may involve the labia majora. Several organisms are usually found in the necrotic material, but fusiform bacilli, Borrelia organisms, staphylococci, and anaerobic streptococci are most frequently observed.

Synonym(s): cancrum oris, stomatonecrosis, water canker

[G. nome, a spreading (sore)]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.