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J Dermatol. 2009 May;36(5):298-305. doi: 10.1111/j.1346-8138.2009.00643.x.

Necrotizing fasciitis caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae.

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  • 1Division of Dermatology, Okinawa Kyoudo Hospital, 593 Madanbashi Tomishiro, Okinawa 901-0201, Japan.


A 69-year-old woman presented with shivering and pain in the lower extremities on 5 April 2006; she was referred to the dermatology division of our hospital on the following day with difficulty in walking. She had been suffering from non-viral, non-alcoholic liver cirrhosis, and was being treated by the Division of Internal Medicine. Physical examination showed edema in the lower extremities and light purpuras on the groin and legs. Low blood pressure had been observed since admission. Necrotizing fasciitis (NF) was suspected on the basis of the skin symptoms, systemic conditions, and magnetic resonance imaging. During surgical debridement under general anesthesia, cardiopulmonary arrest occurred, and the patient died 12 h after admission. NF, in its early stages, exhibits few skin changes. In order to differentiate it from other skin infections, it is necessary to take into account blood pressure, abnormal systemic conditions, and severe pain out of proportion to its minor skin changes. In the present case, Streptococcus pneumoniae was detected by blood culture. Soft tissue infectious diseases caused by S. pneumoniae, especially NF, are very rare. We have reviewed reported cases of NF caused by S. pneumoniae.

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