Subcutaneous fat necrosis in an infant, occurring after hypothermic cardiac surgery. Case report and analysis of etiologic factors

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1986 Aug;15(2 Pt 2):331-6. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(86)70171-0.


A female infant developed extensive subcutaneous fat necrosis 3 weeks following induced hypothermia used as an adjuvant in cardiac surgery. All lesions resolved without sequelae within 4 months. In this article we discuss the various causes of panniculitis in infants and the relevance of each cause to our patient. We believe that an underlying defect in composition and metabolism of fat, coupled with a variety of exogenous and endogenous stresses, can precipitate subcutaneous fat necrosis in infants. These stresses include physical trauma (e.g., hypothermia), poor nutrition, infection, and metabolic abnormalities.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology*
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass*
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / surgery
  • Enteral Nutrition
  • Fat Necrosis / etiology*
  • Fat Necrosis / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced / adverse effects*
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Necrosis / etiology*
  • Postoperative Complications*