Ultrasound and Computerized Tomography in Managing Cellulitis: A Case Study
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Cellulitis is a common cutaneous tissue infection that affects approximately 14.5 million people in the United States each year. This skin disease is usually a clinical diagnosis. With the development of technology, especially bedside ultrasound, imaging techniques have become integrated into the physical exam, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. Ultrasound and computerized tomography (CT) have become part of the management of cutaneous infections such as cellulitis, abscess, and necrotizing fasciitis. However, it is still not clear what role these imaging techniques hold. In this case report, we present a patient with cellulitis refractory to standard antibiotic regimens. Ultrasound and CT scan were performed which showed soft-tissue edema, phlegmon without drainable abscess. Without improvement, the patient underwent incision and drainage for possible abscess. Following the surgical procedures, the patient's symptoms resolved, and the patient was discharged. This case raises to the surface limitations that may still exist in imaging studies in the treatment of soft tissue infections. Further research, training, and perhaps technological development are necessary to assist in using imaging studies in the diagnosis of soft tissue infection.