Report of an infant with noma (Cancrum oris)

Yuca K., Yuca S., Cankaya H., Caksen H., Calka M., Kiris M.

JOURNAL OF DERMATOLOGY, vol.31, no.6, pp.488-491, 2004 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/j.1346-8138.2004.tb00539.x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.488-491
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: No


Noma (cancrum oris) is an infectious disease that destroys the oro-facial tissues and other neighboring structures in its fulminating course. The starting point of the disease is acute ulcero-necrotic gingivitis, which results in an extensive gangrenous plaque destroying all of the soft tissues of the face. It predominantly affects children aged 2-16 years and is primarily seen in areas where the socioeconomic standards are low and there is poor hygiene, as in developing countries. We discuss possible predisposing factors in cancrum oris such as malnutrition, infectious diseases, HIV infection, and immune compromise conditions. Poverty is the most important risk factor. We report the case of a 6-month-old child with noma and review the characteristic features of this disease.