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Purplish arm with bullous lesions
  1. Claudio Tana,
  2. Eleonora Spaggiari,
  3. Mauro Silingardi
  1. Internal Medicine Unit, Guastalla Hospital, AUSL Reggio Emilia, Guastalla, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Claudio Tana, Internal Medicine Unit, Guastalla Hospital—AUSL Reggio Emilia, Via Donatori di Sangue 1, Guastalla (RE) 42016 Italy; claudio.tana{at}

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Clinical introduction

An 81-year-old man with a 10-year history of insulin-treated type 2 diabetes presented with sudden-onset pain, redness and swelling that began in his right hand the day before admission and extended to the whole arm over the next hours. He was fishing but was not aware of any injury, and symptoms had not given early significant discomfort. On examination the right arm was diffusely tender, purplish and swollen. Diffuse crepitation, reddish-blue bullae with serohemorrhagic discharge were also found (figure 1). Vital signs revealed hypotension, tachycardia and low-grade fever. Laboratory tests showed leucopenia (white blood cells, 3.5/nL), increase of erythrocyte sedimentation rate (103 mm/h), C reactive protein (15 mg/L), procalcitonin (17.93 ng/mL) and elevated myoglobin and creatine kinase (5126 and 2000 U/L, respectively).

Figure 1

Diffusely purplish, swollen right arm and reddish-blue …

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  • Contributors All authors have been involved in the study concept and design, acquisition of data, drafting the article and final approval of the version to be published.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.