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January 4, 1971

Spinal Abscess: Cutaneous Erythema Perstans as an Alerting Sign

Author Affiliations

From the departments of neurosurgery (Drs. Kao and MacCarty), orthopedics (Dr. Coventry), and dermatology (Dr. Sams); University of Minnesota, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Rochester.

JAMA. 1971;215(1):113-115. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180140077016

Six years after a back operation, a woman's long-term skin lesions and low-back pain were relieved when an abscess in the lumbar region was discovered and treated. Cutaneous erythema perstans was a cardinal manifestation in this case of spinal suppuration. In the presence of such cutaneous lesions the clinician is obligated to search for possible occult infection or malignancy.