D.R. is born at term of physiological pregnancy by caesarean section. Birth weight was 3520 g, APGAR 7/9. At birth he presented axial hypotonia, hyporeactivity, groan, mild respiratory distress. Started Non Invasive Ventilation for 2 days with good improvement of outcome.
At 4 day life, we started antimicrobial therapy and immunoglobulins ev because of elevated inflammatory markers and low platelet counts (PLT 47000/mcl) confirmed at the blood smear.
After 2 weeks, on the neck and on the right cheek, finding of erythematous nodules of a few millimetres of diameter. In the days after, the lesions are also extended to the left cheek and became larger up to about 3 cm.
At the ultrasound they appeared as ‘delimited echogenic areas of 19 × 14 mm at left, 17 × 12 mm at right whit intrinsic vascularisation and of irregular structure. Laboratory pannels (hepatic, renal, coltural exams, procalcitonin) were negative, ESR 24 mm/h, CRP 23.6 mg/L.
About 30 days after, we see a reduction of the lesions in spite of a persistent increase of inflammatory markers. Therefore, a bacterial aetiology appeared ulikely saw that antimicrobial therapy so soon established, had no effects on them.
Subcutaneous fat necrosis of the newborn is a relatively rare and transient condition that appeared in the first weeks of life in term infants with a perinatal suffering.
This condition is caractherized by single or multiple subcutaneous nodules, isolated or confluent in plaques, erythematous/purplish, sometimes with little depressions, calcifications or necrosis inside; symmetrically distributed on the back, shoulders, buttocks, cheeks and at the root of the limbs; often painful at palpation. These nodules grow for some weeks and completely resolve within few months.
Etiopathogenesis is probably linked to ischaemic injury, hypoxia, hypothermia and/or stress damage on the immature adipose tissue in infants with perinatal asphyxia.
Maternal hypertension, gestational diabetes, family history of thrombophilia and dyslipidemia are considered risk factors. The diagnosis is clinical; the cutaneous biopsy is of support. Important for diagnosis are also the Ultrasonography and RMN.
Hypercalcemia is the most dangerous complication; less frequent consequencies are thrombocytopenia, metabolic disorders (hypertriglyceridemia, hypoglycemia) and atrophic development of the nodular lesions.