Scurvy masquerading as leukocytoclastic vasculitis: a case report and review of the literature

Cutis. 2005 Oct;76(4):261-6.


Scurvy, a disease rarely seen in modern times, results from dietary deficiency of vitamin C and is characterized in adults by hemorrhagic diathesis, hair follicle abnormalities, and osteopenia. We present a 59-year-old man with perifollicular petechiae of the extremities, a painful lower extremity hematoma, and sacral osteopenia, who was repeatedly misdiagnosed with leukocytoclastic vasculitis. The patient's dietary history revealed several months of virtually no vitamin C intake. The patient rapidly improved with vitamin C replacement. We review the biochemical basis and pathophysiology of scurvy, clinical scenarios in which it occurs, clinical signs and radiologic features of the condition, and recommendations for its diagnosis and treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Scurvy / diagnosis*
  • Scurvy / drug therapy
  • Vasculitis, Leukocytoclastic, Cutaneous / diagnosis


  • Ascorbic Acid