Cutaneous anthrax of the hand: Some clinical observations
15 January 2020 (online)
CONTEXT: Anthrax is a very rare disease in Europe and the United States. AIM: A case of cutaneous anthrax of the hand with a wide skin defect is presented and some clinical observations highlighted. CASE REPORT: A 56-year-old male patient with cutaneous anthrax attended our infectious diseases department with a swelling up to the upper arm. An urgent fasciotomy was undertaken with a diagnosis of compartment syndrome. A black eschar had formed on the dorsal surface of the hand. A superficial tangential escharectomy was performed. RESULTS: Viable fibrous tissue, about 4 to 5 mm in thickness over the extensor tendons, was found under the eschar. At the postoperative 2-year follow-up, remarkable healing was observed via skin grafting. CONCLUSIONS: Hand surgeons should be cautious against the compartment syndrome that may accompany cutaneous anthrax of the hand. A consistent viable fibrous tissue can be found below the eschar. The mechanism for the involvement of the hand dorsum needs further concern.
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