Background: We report a case that presented as fever with positive Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) IgM antibody combined with subcutaneous nodules on lower extremities and cervical lymphadenopathy firstly misdiagnosed as infectious mononucleosis, which was proven as subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma by subcutaneous nodule biopsies.
Methods: Appropriate serum and bacteriological laboratory tests were carried out for the cause of fever. An ultrasound and subcutaneous nodule biopsies were performed.
Results: EBV IgM antibody was positive. An ultrasound revealed multiple subcutaneous nodules, which were prone to be lipoma on lower extremities and cervical lymphadenopathy. Subcutaneous nodule biopsies were firstly misdiagnosed as lipoma, while pathology consultation for the subcutaneous nodule biopsies diagnosed subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma.
Conclusions: When patients have persistent fever with positive EBV IgM antibody combined other system involvements, especially lymphadenopathy and multiple subcutaneous nodules, it should differentiate lymphoma from infectious diseases.