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From The JAMA Network
February 21, 2017

CellulitisCommonly Misdiagnosed or Just Misunderstood?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Emergency Medicine, Olive View–UCLA Medical Center, Sylmar, California
JAMA. 2017;317(7):760-761. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.15921

In the February 2017 issue of JAMA Dermatology, Weng and colleagues1 reported a high rate of misdiagnosis and unnecessary care delivered to patients in the emergency department (ED) hospitalized with the diagnosis of lower extremity cellulitis. Based on a subsequent change in diagnosis during hospitalization or within 30 days of discharge, the authors found that 79 (30.5%) of 259 patients admitted to the hospital from the ED with a diagnosis of cellulitis did not actually have the disease. The most common cause of mistaken diagnosis was a vascular condition such as stasis dermatitis.

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