Conference Coverage

ALT-70 score outperformed thermal imaging for cellulitis diagnosis


Key clinical point: The ALT-70 score surpassed thermal imaging for diagnosing lower-extremity cellulitis.

Major finding: Positive and negative predictive values were 80.4% and 90.9% for ALT-70 and 75.5% and 57.1% for thermal imaging.

Study details: A single-center study with 67 patients.

Disclosures: Mr. Li had no disclosures.

Source: Li DG et al. AAD 18, Abstract 6744.



– A simple scoring system surpassed thermal imaging for diagnosing lower extremity cellulitis in a head-to-head, single-center comparison in 67 patients.

The ALT-70 score – which tallies points for asymmetry, leukocytosis, tachycardia, and age of at least 70 years – produced a positive predictive value for lower-extremity cellulitis (LEC) of 80.4% and a negative predictive value of 90.9%, compared with values of 75.5% and 57.1%, respectively, for thermal imaging when researchers applied both methods to 67 patients, said David G. Li, a clinical research fellow in the department of dermatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, where the study was conducted.

Mr. David Li, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston Mitchel Zoler

David Li

“We recommend ALT-70 for routine practice to reduce misdiagnosis of lower-extremity cellulitis,” said Mr. Li.

The senior author of Mr. Li’s report, Arash Mostaghimi, MD, director of the inpatient consultation service, department of dermatology at Brigham and Women’s, was also lead investigator for the team of dermatology researchers – from his center and from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston – who recently devised the ALT-70 scoring system for diagnosing LEC (J Amer Acad Dermatol. 2017 April;76[4]:618-25.e2).

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