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Perifollicular petechiae and easy bruising

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This patient was a liver transplant recipient and had a history of malnutrition. One tell-tale sign on the physical exam, however, left no doubt as to the diagnosis.



A 45-year-old woman presented to our hospital with recurrent cirrhosis and sepsis secondary to a hepatic abscess from Pseudomonas aeromonas and Candida albicans. Ten years earlier, she had received a liver transplant due to sclerosing cholangitis. The patient had a history of nausea from her liver disease and malnutrition due to a diet that consisted predominantly of cereal with minimal fresh fruits and vegetables. Her family reported that she bruised easily and had worsening dry, flaky skin.

Erosions on the oral mucosa and gingivitis image

The physical examination revealed jaundice, scleral icterus, purpuric macules, superficial desquamation, gingivitis (FIGURE 1), and perifollicular hemorrhages with corkscrew hairs (FIGURES 2 and 3). The patient also had acute kidney injury, delirium, and pancytopenia. She was admitted to the hospital and was started on piperacillin-tazobactam and fluconazole for sepsis, as well as rifaximin and lactulose for hepatic encephalopathy.

Perifollicular hemorrhages on lower extremities image

Magnified image of corkscrew hairs image



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