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May 1959

Primary Actinomycosis of the Upper Extremity

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Dermatology Department of Roosevelt Hospital.

AMA Arch Derm. 1959;79(5):578-580. doi:10.1001/archderm.1959.01560170076011

This case of actinomycosis involving the hand and arm is noteworthy because of the unique location. Not only was the skin affected but also the subcutaneous tissue, muscle, periosteum, and axillary node of the right arm. No discernible history could be elicited of any injury, occupational contact, or endogenous foci.

Most cases of actinomycosis of the skin, reported in the literature, reveal a history of farm work or of trauma due to human bites or of fist blows to the mouth. The cases resulting from oral contact include three involving the hand; in each instance the patient had hit another person on the mouth (Cope,1 McWilliams,2 and Burrows3). Others in which oral contact was suspected were 14 cases of primary actinomycosis of the breast, reported by Davies,4 and one, described by Robinson,5 in which the infection was traced to a human bite.


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