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December 1987

Panniculitis New Findings in the `Third Compartment'

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatopathology Medical College of Virginia Box 407, MCV Station Richmond, VA 23298-0407

Arch Dermatol. 1987;123(12):1615-1618. doi:10.1001/archderm.1987.01660360043010

It is not unusual at medical meetings to encounter physicians, both clinicians and pathologists, who express frustration over disorders of the subcutaneous fat. It is interesting to speculate on the reasons for this relative unpopularity of panniculitis. Despite the admitted importance of subcutaneous fat as a mechanical cushion and as a metabolic and thermal regulator, many people in our society spend inordinate amounts of time and money trying to get rid of it! The depth of the subcutis, when compared to that of the other "compartments" of skin (ie, the epidermis and dermis), may lend it an aura of "remoteness" for some dermatologists. There is a daunting clinical sameness to the panniculitides, since many of them at some stage in their development present as erythematous subcutaneous nodules that are frequently located on the legs. Things are little better for the dermatopathologist. Predictably, these conditions begin with acute inflammation, are followed

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