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July 1985

Panniculitis in Infants

Author Affiliations

1437 Natalie Lane Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Arch Dermatol. 1985;121(7):834. doi:10.1001/archderm.1985.01660070022002

To the Editor.—  Katz et al1 recently reported an unusual case of subcutaneous fat necrosis of the newborn (SQFN) presenting as a solitary anterior chest nodule. Several statements were made that merit further discussion.The authors implied that SQFN is a benign entity, especially in comparison to sclerema neonatorum (SN). Sclerema neonatorum is defined as "... a condition which, unlike SQFN, has a fatal outcome." Death, however, is not the inevitable consequence of SN.2,3 Moreover, there is significant morbidity and even mortality associated with SQFN.4,5The etiology and pathogenesis of panniculitis in infants remains elusive. Sclerema neonatorum and SQFN can easily be differentiated on clinical grounds, but whether or not they are different manifestations of the same underlying pathologic process is moot. Although SN and SQFN most commonly occur shortly after birth, onset may be delayed.3,5 Such variability in time of onset makes analysis of causal relationships

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