Monday, August 27, 2012

Burden of facial cellulitis: estimates from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample.

Burden of facial cellulitis: estimates from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample.

Sept 2012


DMD student, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA.



Multitude of maxillofacial infections from odontogenic and nonodontogenic origins can progress to facialcellulitis, which may require an emergency department (ED) visit for appropriate care. The aim of this study was to investigate national prevalence of ED visits attributed primarily to facial cellulitis, to quantify the associated hospital charges, and to identify a cohort of population presenting to the ED with facial cellulitis.


The Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) for the year 2007, a component database of the health care cost and utilization project was used for this study. All ED visits that had a primary diagnosis of facial cellulitis(ICD-9-CM code 682.0) were selected for analysis. All estimates were projected to national levels using the discharge weight variables.


In 2007, a total of 302,507 ED visits were attributed primarily to facial cellulitis in the USA. The average age of the patients was 35.0 years. The mean hospital charge for each ED visit was $1,024, with a total charge of $241,541,694. A total of 17.8% of ED visits were admitted into the same hospital for inpatient care, and 78.5% of ED visits were discharged routinely; 67.6% of ED visits occurred on weekdays. Private insurance payers comprised the largest proportion (31.6%).


This study highlights the prevalence of hospital-based ED visits primarily due to facial cellulitis in the USA in year 2007, its significant associated hospital resource utilization for treatment, and characteristics of the patient population who are likely to visit a hospital-based ED for treatment of facial cellulitis.

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Bacteremia in patients hospitalized with cellulitis

Bacteremia in patients hospitalized with cellulitis


[Article in Spanish]


Servicio de Clínica Médica, Hospital Británico de Buenos Aires.


Cellulitis is an acute inflammation of dermis and subcutaneous tissue, usually complicating wounds, ulcers, or dermatosis. Even though in these cases it is recommended to perform culture from skin and soft tissue samples, the utility of blood cultures remains controversial due to the low frequency of positive results. Here we report the prevalence of bacteremia in patients with cellulitis admitted in our Hospital, and evaluate the presence of risk factors associated with the occurrence of this event. Clinical records of patients with diagnosis of cellulitis admitted between June 2007 and March 2010 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients without skin and soft tissue culture and/or blood cultures were excluded. Demographic data, presence of comorbidities, and culture results were analyzed. In this period, 140 patients were admitted with this diagnosis. Fifty six (40%) of them had positive skin and soft tissue cultures; where methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was the most frequently isolated bacterium species (35.7%). Bacteremia was detected in 8.6% of these cases, where the most frequently isolated bacteria were Group G Beta haemolytic Streptococcus (33%). Bacteremia was significantly associated with longer hospital stay (10.5 ± 8.98 vs. 4.9 ± 6, p = 0.004). The following variables were significantly associated with the occurrence of positive blood cultures: diabetes (41.7% vs. 14.1%; p = 0.02; OR 4.4), positive skin and soft tissue culture (75% vs. 35.2%; p = 0.01; OR 5.5), alcoholism (16.7% vs. 3.9%; p = 0.01; OR 4.9), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (16.7% vs. 0.78%; p = 0.01; OR 25.4).

Full Text Article:

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Incidence of deep vein thrombosis in erysipelas or cellulitis of the lower extremities.

Incidence of deep vein thrombosis in erysipelas or cellulitis of the lower extremities.

Aug 2012


Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.


The incidence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in patients with erysipelas and cellulitis of the lower extremities is unknown. As such, the indication and efficacy of prophylactic anticoagulation for prevention of DVT in these patients is unclear. The main goal of this review is to provide an estimate of the incidence of DVT in erysipelas and cellulitis based on existing literature. A comprehensive search of the electronic sources: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, LILAC and Cochrane without any language limitation was performed from 1950 to April 2011 for articles focused on the occurrence of DVT in cellulitis or erysipelas of the lower extremities. The selected studies were divided into two groups according to presence or absence of systematic investigation for DVT. Those studies in which the patients received prophylactic or therapeutic anticoagulants before a diagnosis of DVT were excluded. The reported incidence rate of DVT in patients with erysipelas or cellulitis of the lower extremities is highly variable, ranging from 0 to 15%. In this review, the overall incidence rates of DVT in studies with and without systematic investigation for thromboembolism were 2.72% (95% CI: 1.71-3.75%) and 0.68% (95% CI: 0.27-1.07%), respectively. Given the low reported overall incidence of DVT, neither routine prophylactic anticoagulation nor systematic paraclinical investigation for DVT is indicated in low risk patients with erysipelas or cellulitis of the lower extremities. DVT should still be considered in patients with high pretest probability or other thromboembolic risk factors.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

PCR offers no advantage over culture for microbiologic diagnosis in cellulitis.

PCR offers no advantage over culture for microbiologic diagnosis in cellulitis.

July 2012


Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, 5200 Eastern Avenue, Mason F Lord Building, Center Tower, Suite #376, Baltimore, MD, USA,



Most cases of cellulitis are traditionally attributed to β-hemolytic Streptococcus and Staphylococcus species, although in most cases, no organism is identified. Development of PCR using the conserved bacterial 16 S rRNA DNA permits identification of bacteria independent of conventional culture approaches and prior use of antibiotics.


We used PCR-based techniques to identify cellulitis etiology using aspirate samples from affected skin. Saline was infiltrated and aspirated at the site of greatest erythema or at the cellulitic border. Samples were tested for 16 S rRNA DNA, and organism-specific probes used to identify bacteria commonly seen in skin infections.


Aspirates from 32 patients were studied, and 16 S rRNA DNA was detected in nine of these patient samples (28.1 %). Bacterial species were identified by PCR methods in six of these nine samples (66.6 %), with S. aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) identified in four and two, respectively, of these samples. Of the patients with positive aspirate bacterial cultures (3/9, 33.3 %), S. aureus and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CoNS) were present on cultures of two of the three (both 66.6 %) positive samples. Only in one of the three positive bacterial cultures did the PCR method detect the same organism as was detected by culture. Among patients with positive provider-collected clinical cultures, MRSA was the predominant organism (11/18, 61.1 %) and when present, it was found as the sole organism. Where S. aureus or Streptococcus species were detected by molecular methods, clinical cultures yielded a positive result as well.

CONCLUSIONS: PCR-based techniques do not appear to be more sensitive than aspirate cultures for the detection of pathogens in cellulitis.

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Distinguishing cellulitis from its mimics.

August 2012


FACP, Department of Hospital Medicine, A13, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195;

Key points

Cellulitis is rarely bilateral.
Patients with cellulitis often have systemic symptoms, such as fever and leukocytosis.
A chronic course points to a diagnosis other than cellulitis.
Plaques with a “bound-down” appearance or dark pigmentation point to a chronic disease rather than cellulitis.
Stasis dermatitis is the most common mimic of cellulitis.
MORE THAN 10% OF PATIENTS labeled as having cellulitis do not have cellulitis.1 This is unfortunate, as it leads to excessive and incorrect use of antibiotics and to delays in appropriate therapy.2However, it is not surprising, given the number of conditions that bear a striking similarity to cellulitis. A familiarity with the features of true cellulitis and with the handful of conditions that can bear a striking similarity to it is the way out of this potential diagnostic quagmire.

Distinguishing true cellulitis from its many imitators is challenging but critical if we are to avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics and delays in treatment. Common imitators of cellulitis are stasis dermatitis, lipodermatosclerosis, contact dermatitis, lymphedema, eosinophilic cellulitis, and papular urticaria. Specific criteria do not exist for the diagnosis of cellulitis, but the alert physician can find clues in the history and physical examination that point toward cellulitis.


The key characteristics of cellulitis are redness, warmth, tenderness, and swelling of the skin. A history of trauma and pain in the affected area and evidence of leukocytosis3 suggest cellulitis. A symmetric or diffusely scattered pattern indicates a condition other than cellulitis, which is overwhelmingly unilateral, with smooth, indistinct borders4,5 Other factors pointing to cellulitis are underlying immunosuppression, a more rapid progression, previous episodes, systemic symptoms (eg, fever, leukocytosis), new medications, new travel or outdoor exposure, and comorbidities such as diabetes and peripheral vascular disease. A long-standing, slowly progressive course and a history of unsuccessful treatment with antibiotics are strong indicators of a condition other than cellulitis.
Consultation with a dermatologist is recommended to narrow the differential diagnosis. The dermatologist can determine if biopsy is necessary, as many dermatoses that mimic cellulitis can be diagnosed by visual recognition alone.
Important full text article: Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine

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Once or twice-daily, algorithm-based intravenous cephazolin for home-based cellulitis treatment.

Once or twice-daily, algorithm-based intravenous cephazolin for home-based cellulitis treatment.

Aug 2012


Department of Pharmacy Acute Post Acute Care, Central Coast Local Health District, Gosford Faculty of Biomedical Science, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.


Objective: Cellulitis is a common presentation to the ED and a significant cause of hospitalization that can be managed in hospital-in-the-home programmes. Current clinical-practice guidelines recommend once or twice-daily i.v. antibiotics; however, there is an absence of data describing the impact of these guidelines in real-world practice-based settings. This study aims to describe the safety and effectiveness of home-based cellulitis treatment according to an online treatment algorithm. 

Methods: Over 12 months, 301 patients with a diagnosis of uncomplicated cellulitis requiring i.v. antibiotics and eligible for home-based therapy completed once-daily (cephazolin plus probenecid) or twice-daily (cephazolin alone) treatment, according to the treatment algorithm. Time (days) until non-progression of cellulitis was the primary outcome measure. Length of stay and treatment-related side-effects were also recorded. Results: The mean time until non-progression was 2.11 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.98-2.23) days versus 2.13 (95% CI 1.81-2.45) days for the once-daily (n = 213) and twice-daily (n = 88) regimens, respectively (P = 0.92, difference in means 0.02 [95% CI -0.36-0.33]). The corresponding mean length of stay was 6.55 (95% CI 5.96-7.15) days versus 7.67 (95% CI 6.69-8.65) days (P = 0.06, difference in means 1.12 [CI 0.03-1.23]). Treatment-related side-effects were reported in 15.5% (33/213 [95% CI 10.6-20.3]) of patients receiving the once-daily regimen compared with 9.1% (8/88 [95% CI 3.1-15.1]) treated twice-daily. Application of the once-daily strategy increased hospital-in-the-home cellulitis-related treatment capacity by 52% (1396/2688 [95% CI 50-54]). 

Conclusions: An online decision support algorithm can support the effective use of a once or twice-daily treatment regimen for uncomplicated cellulitis. This approach can increase the efficiency and capacity of home-based therapy, resulting in better alignment of treatment options with clinicians and patients' preferences.

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Friday, August 03, 2012

15th Annual State of GA Lymphedema Education Program

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

and The Lighthouse Lymphedema Network

Cordially invite you to the

15th State of Georgia Lymphedema Education & Awareness Conference

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Emory University Hospital Midtown, 550 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30308


Speakers include: Jane Armer, PhD, Richard Mistretta, DPM,

Joseph Feldman, MD, and David W. Chang, MD

The Conference Brochure may be viewed by clicking here:\

You may register online by clicking here:


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