Indian Journal of Surgery, Vol. 67, No. 1, January-February, 2005, pp. 52
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Primary actinomycosis of scalp
Rao BSSatish, Menezes LeoT
Department of Surgery, Fr. Muller Medical College Hospital, Kankanady, Mangalore - 575 002
Code Number: is05011
A 16-year-old male patient presented with multiple scalp abscesses [Figure - 1] that were drained twice previously, but with recurrence within 2-3 months. His X-ray skull revealed outer table involvement. Drainage and curettage of the abscess cavities was done and contents sent for smear examination, culture and histopathological study. The smear revealed a few Gram-positive cocci, but culture and histopathology demonstrated the actinomycosis species. A thorough evaluation for primary foci in the cervico-thoracic region was negative. He was put on high dose penicillin for 4 weeks. The wounds healed completely and the patient is symptom-free.
Actinomycosis is a disease characterized by indolent abscesses that cross fascial planes, forming chronic sinuses discharging pus with sulphur granules. The causative agents, the bacteria of genus actionomyces, are part of oral flora. The jaw is a characteristic site of infection, but any organ can be affected. The clinical types include Cervico-facial (commonest), Thoracic, and Abdominal (Ileo-caecal). Cervico-facial actinomycosis usually has its origin in the oral cavity and spreads along fascial planes discharging in areas as varied as the tongue, palate or even scalp. the patient usually has poor oral hygiene or a history of predisposing dental work.
Hence any lesion presenting with induration, chronicity and multiple sinuses should be evaluated thoroughly for this entity by bacteriological examination and histopathology irrespective of the site of occurrence.
Copyright 2005 - Indian Journal of Surgery
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