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Cutis. 2010 Oct;86(4):205-7.

Acute inpatient presentation of scurvy.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1530 3rd Ave S, EFH 414, Birmingham, AL 35294-0009, USA.


Scurvy is a well-known disease of vitamin C deficiency that still occurs in industrialized countries. The clinical manifestations of follicular hyperkeratosis, perifollicular petechiae, corkscrew hairs, and easy bruising are due to defective collagen synthesis and can be mistaken for small vessel vasculitis. Populations at risk for development of scurvy include elderly patients, alcohol and drug users, individuals who follow restrictive diets or have eating disorders, patients with malabsorption, and individuals with mental illness. We report an acute case of scurvy presenting in the inpatient/hospital setting with clinical findings initially thought to represent vasculitis. A high index of suspicion for scurvy must be kept in the appropriate clinical context, and a thorough medical history and physical examination are vital to make the diagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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