Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Subcutaneous fat necrosis in an infant with hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy stage 3: an uncommon association
  1. Sonalika Mehta1,
  2. Naveen Parkash Gupta2,
  3. Anil Batra2 and
  4. Rashmi Sharma3
  1. 1Pediatrics, AIIMS Rishikesh, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
  2. 2Neonatology, Madhukar Rainbow Children's Hospital, Delhi, India
  3. 3Skin and Venereal Diseases, Madhukar Rainbow Children's Hospital, Delhi, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Naveen Parkash Gupta; drgupta.naveen{at}


Subcutaneous fat necrosis (SCFN) is inflammation and necrosis of adipose tissue associated with hypoxia and hypothermia. It leads to various metabolic abnormalities, of which the most dreaded is hypercalcaemia. We report a case of a 7-week-old boy with history of birth asphyxia (hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy stage 3) who presented to us with features suggestive of hypercalcaemia with bilateral nephrocalcinosis. On examination, there were multiple subcutaneous nodules on both arms. Evaluation revealed suppressed parathyroid activity along with low levels of 25(OH)vitamin D3 and elevated 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Skin biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of SCFN. He was managed with intravenous fluids, single dose of intravenous furosemide and oral prednisolone. Hypercalcaemia responded within 14 days of admission, prednisolone was tapered and stopped in a month. SCFN, in our case, can be attributed to the underlying perinatal asphyxia along with use of therapeutic hypothermia. Through this case, we wish to sensitise practicing neonatologists for the need of screening and early identification of these abnormalities, which if missed can be fatal.

  • calcium and bone
  • metabolic disorders
  • neonatal intensive care
  • cerebral palsy

Statistics from


  • Contributors SM wrote the case report and involved in care of baby. NPG was involved in editing process and in care of baby. AB was involved in clinical care of baby. RS did skin biopsy.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.