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Acta Cytol. 1995 Jul-Aug;39(4):759-61.

Fine needle aspiration cytodiagnosis of subcutaneous fat necrosis of newborn. A case report.

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Department of Laboratory Services and Pediatrics, Wellington Hospital, New Zealand.


We recently diagnosed subcutaneous fat necrosis in a newborn female infant using fine needle aspiration cytology. The neonate had perinatal asphyxia and her mother a difficult labor, but otherwise the neonate was well developed and healthy and within a few days developed well-defined areas of subcutaneous induration all over. On cytologic examination of the aspirated material, many necrotizing fat cells were found with refractile, needle-shaped crystals arranged in a sheaflike or starburst pattern. Subcutaneous fat necrosis of the newborn is uncommon today, and although the histologic findings from excised tissue are known, this appears to be the first case in which the diagnosis was possible from a sample of fine needle aspirate.

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