Background: Necrotizing fasciitis (NF) is a potentially lethal infection involving the skin, subcutaneous tissue, and fascia. The Laboratory Risk Indicator for Necrotizing fasciitis (LRINEC) score has been proposed as a way of using abnormal laboratory values to distinguish between severe cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis.
Objectives: The utility of the LRINEC system, including a review of current literature on this scoring system, is discussed.
Case report: A case of a 37-year-old man is presented. As part of the diagnostic work-up, appropriate laboratory tests necessary to calculate a LRINEC score were obtained. Despite a LRINEC score of 0, NF was later confirmed at surgery.
Conclusions: Although the LRINEC score has been proposed as a robust way of identifying patients with early NF, it failed to detect NF in the patient reported here. NF should thus remain primarily a disease of clinical suspicion, and this suspicion should trump the LRINEC score.
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