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February 6, 1967

Panniculitis, Vasculitis, and a Positive Lupus Erythematosus Cell Test

Author Affiliations

From the Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, Mass. Dr. Macoul is now at the Division of Ophthalmology, Stanford Medical Center, Palo Alto, Calif.

JAMA. 1967;199(6):428-430. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120060126031

RELAPSING, nodular, nonsuppurative panniculitis is rare and of unknown etiology. It is characterized by fever (87% of cases)1 and spontaneous appearance of subcutaneous nodules on the extremities or trunk. The following have been suggested as possible causes of subcutaneous, nodular panniculitis2: halogen compounds, infections (especially tuberculosis), trauma, faulty fat metabolism, drug ingestion, and antigen-antibody reactions.3 Cases of migratory, nonsuppurative panniculitis have also been reported in association with rheumatoid arthritis,4,5 erythema nodosum,5 dermatomyositis,5 and sarcoid.6 Thus it has been suggested that migratory nodular panniculitis is related to collagen disorders.

The following report is an interesting case of afebrile, nodular, nonsuppurative panniculitis in a patient with positive lupus erythematosus (LE) cell tests, ulcerative colitis, erythema nodosum, and small-vessel vasculitis.

Report of a Case  A 40-year-old widow (197854) entered the Mount Auburn Hospital for the ninth time on July 23, 1965 complaining of lumps on all