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Oct 2012

Pustules and Sinus Tracts Involving the Right Arm of an Elderly Patient—Quiz Case

Author Affiliations
 

SECTION EDITOR: MARY S. STONE, MD; ASSISTANT SECTION EDITORS: SOON BAHRAMI, MD; CARRIE ANN R. CUSACK, MD; SENAIT W. DYSON, MD; MOLLY A. HINSHAW, MD; ARNI K. KRISTJANSSON, MD

Arch Dermatol. 2012;148(10):1199. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2012.1695

An 83-year-old man with a history of diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) (taking prednisone, 5 mg/d) was admitted to our facility with a month-long history of persistent right arm swelling, erythema, and pain. He had multiple prior admissions for this issue and was treated with oral and intravenous antibiotics for a suspected “cellulitis.” His skin symptoms worsened despite treatment, and he developed an extensive superimposed pustular eruption with sinus tracts involving the entire forearm and a portion of the upper arm (Figure 1). Workup included ultrasonography, which showed no fluid collection, and magnetic resonance imaging, which showed soft-tissue swelling without evidence of any underlying myositis or osteomyelitis. A Tzanck smear failed to show multinucleated giant cells. Punch biopsy specimens for culture and histopathologic analysis were obtained (Figure 2 and Figure 3).

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