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February 1959

Purpura Fulminans

Author Affiliations

Jackson, Tenn.
From The Children's Clinic and Jackson Clinic.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1959;97(2):198-201. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1959.02070010200008

Infection is an important cause of purpura in infants and children. The purpuric manifestations of infectious diseases such as rubeola, varicella, infectious mononucleosis, tuberculosis, or cat scratch fever may be of interest to the physician as merely a visible suggestion of host sensitization to a bacterial or viral antigen. Following cases of scarlet fever or rubeola or with a meningococcal sepsis, there can occur a rare and overwhelming form of purpura rapidly causing death. This severe confluent purpura results in local tissue death and forms the clinical syndrome of purpura fulminans or purpura gangrenosa.

Guelliot1 first recorded its description in 1884. Approximately 100 cases of this syndrome have been reported in the literature with a mortality rate of 92%. Purpura fulminans is a rare complication of scarlet fever, having been seen only 4 times in over 72,000 cases observed by several groups of authors.2,3 We feel that the

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