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Mycobacterium chelonae infection
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Mycobacterium chelonae infection

Contributors: Scott W. Dunbar MD, Noah Craft MD, PhD, Lowell A. Goldsmith MD, MPH
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Mycobacterium chelonae is an atypical, rapidly growing mycobacterial organism that causes skin infections in immunocompetent patients. Infection typically follows trauma such as tattooing, piercing, surgery, liposuction, or subcutaneous injections. The skin lesions range from grouped red papules and nodules to disseminated cutaneous abscesses that may follow a linear or sporotrichoid distribution in immunosuppressed patients. Lesions tend to be painful and slow-growing and may heal spontaneously. Most cases are restricted to the skin but can spread to underlying soft tissue and bone. Pulmonary disease and disseminated disease occur rarely. Mycobacterium chelonae infections are uncommon, and most have been reported in young men, but true sex and age predilection are unknown.

Codes

ICD10CM:
A31.1 – Cutaneous mycobacterial infection

SNOMEDCT:
402981007 – Mycobacterium chelonae infection of skin (disorder)

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Mycobacterium abscessus and Mycobacterium fortuitum are often grouped with M. chelonae as the "M. fortuitum complex."
  • Mycobacterium fortuitum has been associated with footbaths at nail salons.
  • Mycobacterium abscessus must be differentiated by microbiologic studies.
Other atypical mycobacteria:
Also consider other infections such as leprosy, sporotrichosis, blastomycosis, actinomycosis, nocardiosis, and leishmaniasis (Old World, New World); bacterial infections such as furunculosis and folliculitis; and Majocchi's granuloma.

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Therapy

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References

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Last Updated:06/19/2014
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Mycobacterium chelonae infection
Mycobacterium chelonae infection : Painful skin lesions, Smooth nodule
Clinical image of Mycobacterium chelonae infection
Erythematous nodules, one crusted and with overlying scale, on the leg of a renal transplant patient.
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