Clinical Case 1 

Landon Eggleston, M.D. 

Janae Hohbein, D.O.


30 y/o F with PMHx of GERD, depression, anxiety, IBIDS, recent cholecystitis s/p cholecystectomy 2 weeks ago presents to the emergency department with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and gradually worsening diffuse rash starting after leaving the hospital two weeks ago following cholecystectomy. Reports daily episodes of bilious vomiting and yellow-green diarrhea associated with left upper quadrant and epigastric abdominal pain that is crampy, constant and non-radiating in nature. Rash began two days post-op, initially in her upper and lower extremities including palms and soles and gradually spread to her entire body. She reports taking Norco for 2 days post-surgery but has not taken any other medication. Denies any new shampoos, soaps, detergents. Denies CP, SOB, fevers, chills, dysuria, headaches, vision changes, numbness/weakness.

Physical Exam

Vitals: HR 113, RR 18, BP 140/100, Temp 98.4, SPO2 98%

General: No acute distress, resting comfortably

HENT: Extraocular movements intact, head normocephalic/atraumatic

Lungs: Clear to auscultation bilaterally, breath sounds equal, non-labored respirations

Cardiac: Regular rate and rhythm, no murmurs, rubs, or gallops

Abd: Tenderness to palpation left upper quadrant, no rebound or guarding

Skin: diffuse nonblanchable palpable purpuric rash to trunk, arms, legs, face, neck including palms and soles, areas of excoriation and coalescing, no skin sloughing, no intact blister, no oral lesions

Neurologic: Alert and oriented x4, no motor/sensory deficits

Psych: appropriate mood/affect, cooperative



WBC 13.8^

RBC 4.74

HGB 13.9

HCT 40.7

MCV 85.9

MCH 29.3

MCHC 34.2

RDW-CV 13.5

RDW-SD 41.9

PLT 385


Neutrophil, % 73

Lymphocytes, % 20

Monocytes, % 4

Eosinophils, % 2

Basophils, % 0

Immature Granulocytes 1

Absolute Neutrophils 10.1^

Absolute Lymphocytes 2.7

Absolute Monocytes 0.6


Na+: 137

K+: 3.9

Cl-: 99

CO2: 30

Anion Gap: 12

Glucose: 100^

BUN: 9

Cr: 0.64

GFR: >90

BUN/Cr Ratio: 14

Ca2+: 9.0

Bili, Total: 0.5



Alk Phos: 98

Albumin: 2.8 (L)

Protein, total: 7.0

Globulin: 4.2 (H)

A/G Ratio: 0.7 (L)


Lipase: 118

C-Reactive Protein

CRP: 9.9 (H)


Prothrombin Time 12.4 (H)

INR 1.2

PTT 26


Procalcitonin 0.15 (H)


RBC Sedimentation Rate: 43 (H)

Beta HCG

HCG, Quant <2


Color: Yellow

Appearance: Clear

Glucose: Negative

Bilirubin: Moderate (A)

Ketones: 40 (A)

Specific Gravity: 1.025

Occult Blood: Small (A)

pH: 6.0

Protein: 30 (A)

Urobilinogen: 0.2

Nitrite: Negative

WBC Esterase: Negative

CT Abdomen/Pelvis

Click for diagnosis and more

IgA Vasculitis


Red Flags:

Causes of Petechiae/Purpura

Abnormal platelet count and/or coagulation

Primary vasculitides

Hypersensitivity Vasculitides

Secondary vasculitides

Systemic lupus erythematosus

Infectious disease


IgA Vasculitis 

Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

Lab Abnormalities

Biopsy is definitive NOT labs

In our patient...

ESR- 43mm/hr (ref range 0-20-mm/hr)

CRP- 9.9 mg/dL (ref range <=1.0mg/dL)

WBC- 13.8K/mcL (ref range 4.2-11.0K/mcL)

Hgb- 13.9g/dL (ref range 12.0-15.5g/dL)

Plt- 385K/mcL (ref range 140-450K/mcL)

Creatinine- 0.64mg/dL (ref range 0.51-0.95mg/dL)

Procalcitonin- 0.15ng/mL (ref range <=0.09ng/mL)


Our patient was started on 1mg/kg of Prednisone in the emergency department and admitted for further workup where she obtained EGD, colonoscopy and skin biopsy. She also received blood cultures, hepatitis, HIV, and antibody testing. The patient responded well to steroid therapy and was discharged home several days later. Her rash continued to improve and resolved within two weeks and her kidney function remained normal. 

Take Home Points

Don't panic when you see a rash on the tracking board

Use your resources

Keep these red flags in mind

Take a thorough history