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Journal of Medical Case Reports

, 4:152

First Online: 25 May 2010Received: 22 October 2009Accepted: 25 May 2010DOI: 10.1186-1752-1947-4-152

Cite this article as: Suárez, A., Freeman, S., Puls, L. et al. J Med Case Reports 2010 4: 152. doi:10.1186-1752-1947-4-152


IntroductionSplinters and spines of plant matter are common foreign bodies in skin wounds of the extremities, and often present embedded in the dermis or subcutaneous tissue. Vegetative foreign bodies are highly inflammatory and, if not completely removed, can cause infection, toxic reactions, or granuloma formation. Older patients are at increased risk for infection from untreated plant foreign bodies. The most common error in plant splinter and spine management is failure to detect their presence.

Case presentationHere we report a case of cactus spines in an 84-year-old Caucasian man presenting on the right flank as multiple, red papules with spiny extensions. This presentation was unusual both in location and the spinous character of the lesions, and only after punch biopsy analysis was a diagnosis of cactus matter spines made.

ConclusionsOur patient presented with an unusual case of cactus spines that required histopathology for identification. Skin lesions with neglected foreign bodies are a common cause of malpractice claims. If not removed, foreign bodies of the skin, particularly in elderly individuals, can result in inflammatory and infectious sequela. This report underscores the importance of thoroughly evaluating penetrating skin lesions for the presence of foreign bodies, such as splinters and spines.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1752-1947-4-152 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Andrea Suárez - Scott Freeman - Lauren Puls - Robert Dellavalle

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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