Scurvy presenting as lower limb ecchymoses in the setting of metastatic colorectal cancer

Joshua M. Inglis, Jia Tan

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1 Citation (Scopus)


A 58-year-old woman presented with a 1-week history of lower limb bruising. She had a medical history of recurrent metastatic colon cancer with a sigmoid colectomy and complete pelvic exenteration leading to colostomy and urostomy formation. She had malignant sacral mass encroaching on the spinal cord. This caused a left-sided foot drop for which she used an ankle-foot orthosis. She was on cetuximab and had received radiotherapy to the sacral mass 1 month ago. On examination, there were macular ecchymoses with petechiae on the lower limbs. There was sparing of areas that had been compressed by the ankle-foot orthosis. Bloods showed mild thrombocytopaenia and anaemia with markedly raised inflammatory markers. Coagulation studies consistent with inflammation rather than disseminated intravascular coagulation. She was found to have Klebsiella bacteraemia secondary to urinary source. Skin biopsy showed dermal haemorrhage without vessel inflammation. Vitamin C levels were low confirming the diagnosis of scurvy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere237507
Number of pages4
JournalBMJ Case Reports
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • chemotherapy
  • colon cancer
  • gastrointestinal surgery
  • malnutrition
  • nutritional support


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