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February 2011

Atypical Subcutaneous Emphysema Mimicking Cellulitis

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Dermatology (Drs Fuertes, Guilabert, and Mascaró) and Radiology (Dr Salvador), Hospital Clíinic, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Arch Dermatol. 2011;147(2):253-255. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2010.436

A 61-year-old white man was seen with a 6-day history of fever, dense sputum, dysphonia, and neck pain. His medical history was significant for hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and esophageal carcinoma. He was admitted to the emergency department with a diagnosis of cellulitis, and systemic antibiotics were administered. Laboratory investigations showed hyperglycemia (glucose level, 150 mg/dL) and raised C-reactive protein levels (12.9 mg/dL). (To convert glucose to millimoles per liter, multiply by 0.0555; C-reactive protein to nanomoles per liter, multiply by 9.524.) Chest radiography findings were normal. Dermatologic consultation was requested.

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