ATLANTA, GA – The CDC has issued an advisory regarding a new disease being reported sporadically across the country. There have now been over 250 confirmed cases of what the agency has named “panniculolithiasis.”
The CDC’s press liaison, Michelle Tompkins, MD, MPH, JD, MBA, RN, BSN, Ph.D, was interviewed last week. “Basically, panniculolithiasis is diagnosed when a radiographic study of a patient reveals a suspicious calcification, but a thorough retrospective physical exam finds the calcification buried between the patient’s fat rolls.”
“One of our first reported cases of panniculolithiasis occurred in South Carolina, when an emergency physician ordered an abdominal series on a 475-lb. woman with abdominal pain. The radiologist saw an 8-mm calcification in the right mid-abdomen. Of course, he recommended clinical correlation, but could not rule out renal stone or a fecalith in the appendix.
The clinician then ordered a CT of the abdomen, which showed that the calcification was actually outside the patient. On repeat physical exam, the doctor discovered a large piece of grape flavored Nerds candy lodged between the patient’s 3rd and 4th abdominal adipose layer.”
Similar cases have been diagnosed with the aid of mammograms, extremity x-rays, and flexion/extension neck films. An Alabama man was sent to a local urologist after a suspicious prostate calcification was seen on x-ray of his pelvis, only to have the specialist find a broken piece of Werther’s Original buried in the superior aspect of his FUPA (fatty upper private area).
There is no data yet on the long term morbidity and mortality of panniculolithiasis, but the new disease is a strong predictor of type II diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis.