2011: the scurvy Odyssey
- 1Department of Internal Medicine 2, Hospital Curry Cabral, Lisbon, Portugal
- 2Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Hospital Curry Cabral, Lisbon, Portugal
- 3Department of Autoimmunes Diseases Unit, Hospital Curry Cabral, Lisbon, Portugal
- Correspondence to Dr V R Bernardino,
The authors report the case of a 50-year-old alcoholic man with chronic hepatitis C virus infection, who presented to the emergency department with fever and exuberant ecchymoses and petechiae on both legs. After a careful examination and laboratory assessment, the not-so-obvious hypothesis of scurvy was disclosed. Simply with vitamin C replacement and nutritional advice, a dramatic improvement in his condition was observed. In modern societies, a generalised access to food renders scurvy as a rare disease, often misdiagnosed. A multidisciplinary approach is emphasised as the key to a more simple differential diagnosis, avoiding unnecessary exams and preventing serious complications, or even death, if left untreated.