Sterile nodular panniculitis (SNP) is an uncommon inflammatory condition of subcutaneous fat that can be idiopathic, but has also been associated with underlying conditions such as pancreatic disease or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The pathogenesis and clinical course of the condition are not well understood.
To retrospectively review cases of SNP associated with systemic signs, concurrent disease, or both and characterize the clinical, laboratory, imaging, and histopathologic findings, treatment, and response to treatment.
Fourteen dogs with histologically confirmed SNP diagnosed between 1996 and 2008.
Skin lesions were ulcerated or draining nodules in 9 dogs and nonulcerative subcutaneous nodules in 5. Most dogs had systemic signs, such as fever, inappetence, lethargy, and multiple lesions. Common clinicopathologic findings included neutrophilia with or without left shift, increased alkaline phosphatase activity, mild hypoglycemia, hypoalbuminemia, and proteinuria. Concurrent diseases included pancreatic disease, SLE, rheumatoid arthritis, polyarthritis, lymphoplasmacytic colitis, and hepatic disease. Dogs responded to immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids when administered. Prognosis for recovery was related to the underlying disease process.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE:
SNP is not a single disease. Rather, it is a cutaneous marker of systemic disease in many cases. After thorough evaluation for concurrent disease and infectious causes, immunosuppressive treatment is often effective.