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Diabetic Myonecrosis: A Rare Complication of Diabetes Mellitus Mimicking Deep Vein Thrombosis

Himanshu K. Khanna, Andrew C. Stevens

(Department of Medicine, Florida Hospital, Apopka, FL, USA)

Am J Case Rep 2017; 18:38-41

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.900903


BACKGROUND: Diabetic myonecrosis is an uncommon complication of long-standing poorly controlled diabetes mellitus. It presents as acute non-traumatic swelling and pain of the lower extremity, which can mimic deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The clinical course is usually self-limiting and patients respond well to supportive medical therapy.
CASE REPORT: A 54-year-old male with past medical history of poorly controlled diabetes mellitus type II, hyperlipidemia, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and remote history of DVT presented to our emergency department with 2-week history of progressively worsening left calf pain and swelling. On physical examination, the patient had increased warmth, edema, erythema, and tenderness in the left calf, with positive Homan’s sign. A lower-extremity venous Doppler was negative for DVT. His creatinine phosphokinase (CPK) level was normal, but hemoglobin A1C was 11.0%, reflective of poor glycemic control. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the left calf revealed a focus of non-enhancement in the gastrocnemius muscle along with increased enhancement of the rest of the muscle, suggestive of diabetic myonecrosis.
CONCLUSIONS: Diabetic myonecrosis is a rare complication of long-standing diabetes mellitus that can often mimic DVT. Diagnosis can be made on an MRI, and treatment involves strict glycemic control along with antiplatelet therapy and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs).

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