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December 1971

An Occupational Hazard—Tuberculous Paronychia: Report of a Case

Author Affiliations

Beaufort, SC
From the Medical Service, Beaufort (SC) Naval Hospital. Dr. O'Donnell is now with the Harvard Surgical Service, Boston City Hospital, and Dr. Jurgensen is with the University of Florida, Gainesville.

Arch Surg. 1971;103(6):757-758. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350120121023

A 45-year-old practical nurse developed a chronic paronychia, not responsive to customary surgical therapy. The refractory nature of this paronychia and the development of axillary lymphadenopathy dictated the need for biopsy and culture. This procedure subsequently yielded Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Systemic antituberculous chemotherapy resulted in a prompt resolution of the indolent paronychia. This case exemplifies the need for mycobacterial, fungal, or viral studies when confronted with treating the chronic paronychia. In addition, it reemphasizes the frequency with which cutaneous tuberculosis occurs in medical personnel.

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