An 89-year-old man with advanced renal failure, polymyalgia rheumatica and a past history of tuberculosis was admitted with a high fever. Erythema and swelling appeared in the femoral region. Since the cellulitis failed to respond to antibiotic therapy, a skin biopsy was performed. The specimen showed the presence of epithelioid cell granuloma and panniculitis. Acid-fast organisms were found on Ziehl-Neelsen staining. A polymerase chain reaction test of tuberculosis was positive. Although a diagnosis of miliary tuberculosis was suggested, examinations of a bone marrow biopsy and fundoscopy revealed normal results. The patient's symptoms improved following treatment with isoniazid, rifampicin and ethambutol. This case represents an unusual presentation of tuberculous cellulitis in an immunocompromised patient.
2012 by The Japanese Society of Internal Medicine