Thursday, November 15, 2007


Erysipelas: a common potentially dangerous infection.

Erysipelas: a common potentially dangerous infection.

Acta Dermatovenerol Alp Panonica Adriat. 2007 Sept

Celestin R, Brown J, Kihiczak G, Schwartz RA.
New Jersey Medical School, 185 South Orange Avenue, Newark, NJ 07103-2714, USA.

Erysipelas is an acute superficial cutaneous cellulitis that commonly occurs not only in elderly and immunocompromised persons, but also in neonates and small children subsequent to bacterial inoculation through a break in the skin barrier. Group A Beta-hemolytic streptococcus (GABHS, Streptoccocus pyogenes) is the usual etiologic agent. Factors that predispose pediatric patients to the development of erysipelas include very young age, diabetes mellitus, an immunocompromised state, and nephrotic syndrome. Patients typically have a well-demarcated, erythematous, indurated, rapidly spreading patch with a palpable advancing border on the face or extremities. Fever with chills and general malaise may be prominent symptoms. Antibiotics are usually effective. Patients handled in a timely manner tend to recover without problems. However, potential complications include abscess formation, necrotizing fasciitis, septicemia, recurrent infection, and lymphedema.

PMID: 17994173 [
PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Erysipelas today

Gvozdenović E, Dulović O.

Klinicki centar Srbije, Beograd.

INTRODUCTION: Erysipelas is a form of cellulitis and a bacterial infection affecting the most superficial layers of the skin which is caused by group A--hemolytic Streptococcus. The symptoms of erysipelas usually arise quite suddenly and they are often accompanied by fever, chill and shivering. The affected skin is distinguished from other forms of cellulitis by well-defined, raised edge. The affected skin is red, swollen and may be finely dimpled (like an orange skin).

TREATMENT OF ERYSIPELAS: Uncomplicated erysipelas can be treated on an outpatient basis. Indications for hospitalization include a severe clinical picture and socioeconomics factors. Most patients suffering from erysipelas in Belgrade are treated at the Institute of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, and the aim of this study was to analyze patients treated during 2002 and 2003, in order to determine characteristics of erysipelas at the beginning of the XXI century.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: During the studied period, we treated 60 patients (26.7%) of all registrated erysipelas cases in Belgrade. The male/female ratio was 1:1.6.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Prevalence was higher during the summer months. In most cases, the severity and the need for hospitalization were recognized at the beginning; therefore, 74% of patients were hospitalized during the first five days from the onset of nonspecific signs of illness. Laboratory tests showed mild leukocytosis (med 12.05 x 10/9/l), with predominant neutrophils (74.8%) and increased fibrinogen (med 5.4 g/l). Predisposing factors were present in 83.3% of cases; of them, in 35% of cases this was not the first episode of this illness. In 85% of cases erysipelas of the leg was established, and it was the most frequent localization of all.

PMID: 17988064 [PubMed - in process]

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