Fetal hypoxia secondary to severe maternal anemia as a causative link between blueberry muffin baby and erythroblastosis: A case report

Maria Pia De Carolis, Silvia Salvi, Iliana Bersani, Serafina Lacerenza, Costantino Romagnoli, Sara De Carolis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Neonatal blueberry muffin lesions are rare cutaneous eruptions, presenting as transient, non-blanching, red-violaceous papules, mostly localized in the trunk, head and neck, attributable to a marked dermal hematopoietic activity. Congenital infections of the TORCH complex (toxoplasmosis, other, rubella, cytomegalovirus and herpes) and hematological disorders have been classically associated with this neonatal dermatological manifestation. We report for the first time an unusual presentation of blueberry muffin lesions in a neonate born from a mother affected by severe anemia during pregnancy. Case presentation: A male, white Caucasian, neonate showed a cutaneous rash at birth, suggestive of "blueberry muffin"-like lesions. These cutaneous lesions were associated with marked elevation of the circulating nucleated red blood cells, and with ultrasound findings of peculiar brain ischemic porencephalic lesions. The clinical features of spontaneous disappearance and the association with marked erythroblastosis strongly suggest that these dermatological findings may be the consequence of an extramedullary hematopoiesis unexpectedly evoked by the intrauterine chronic exposure to hypoxia caused by severe maternal anemia. Conclusions: In conclusion, fetal hypoxia secondary to severe maternal anemia may play a causative and unreported role in the development of neonatal blueberry muffin lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number155
JournalJournal of Medical Case Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 13 2016

Keywords

  • Blueberry muffin lesion
  • Maternal anemia
  • Nucleated red blood cells (NRBC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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