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Intern Med. 2012;51(8):943-7. Epub 2012 Apr 15.

Weber-Christian disease developing into mediastinitis and pleuritis with massive pleural effusion.

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Department of General Medicine, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Japan.


A 53-year-old man visited our hospital complaining of high fever. Chest computed tomography showed left pleural effusion and mediastinitis. He developed painful red subcutaneous nodules in his bilateral lower extremities. Thoracoscopy-assisted exploratory excision showed visceral pleura thickening; panniculitis in the periaortic area was histologically proven. The patient was treated with corticosteroid therapy which immediately reduced the fever. Subsequent imaging examinations after corticosteroid therapy showed improvement of mediastinitis and pleural effusion. This case reminds us that Weber-Christian disease (WCD) should be included in the differential diagnosis of mediastinitis although WCD is rarely associated with thoracic involvement.

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