European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 170, Issue 9, pp 1107-1110

First online:

Subcutaneous fat necrosis in newborn—an unusual case and review of literature

  • Subhabrata MitraAffiliated withClinical Research Fellow in Neonatology, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust Email author 
  • , Jennifer DoveAffiliated withHistopathology Unit, Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Trust
  • , Sateesh Kumar SomisettyAffiliated withNeonatal Unit, Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Trust

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Subcutaneous fat necrosis (SCFN) of the newborn is an uncommon, self-limiting panniculitis mostly occurring within the first few weeks after birth. SCFN has been described mostly in term or post-term newborn infants in literature. We report a preterm infant developing extensive subcutaneous fat necrosis within the first week of life after significant perinatal hypoxic injury. The infant was conservatively managed for subcutaneous fat necrosis but developed hypercalcaemia and required prolonged medical treatment. Hypercalcaemia is a rare but serious complication of subcutaneous fat necrosis and needs prolonged follow-up. The etiopathogenesis of both subcutaneous fat necrosis in newborn and the resultant hypercalcaemia are poorly understood. Conclusion: Significant subcutaneous fat necrosis can develop in both preterm and term infants, and preterm infants also develop significant complications including hypercalcaemia.


Subcutaneous fat necrosis of newborn Hypercalcaemia Perinatal hypoxia Hypoglycaemia