An insight into the etiopathogenesis, clinical patterns, treatment outcome and repercussions of cutaneous small-vessel vasculitis

Rajkumar Kannan, Muthusubramanian Chandrasekar, Sridhar Venu, Jayakalyani Vijayananth


Background: Cutaneous small-vessel vasculitis (CSVV) is a group of disorder which is characterised by involvement of capillaries, arterioles and venules. CSVV can be idiopathic or primary, or secondary to infection, drugs or as a part and parcel of underlying systemic disease. The aim of our study is to find out the etiological factors, treatment options and their outcome in CSVV.

Methods: We analysed 75 cases of CSVV out of patients who attended Dermatology OPD, in a tertiary care-centre from April 2017 to March 2018.The study design was descriptive study. A detailed history taking, thorough clinical examination and appropriate relevant investigations including biopsy were done for all the patients fulfilling the inclusion criteria and exclusion criteria.

Results: A sample size of 75 patients (53 women and 22 men) were included in the study. Their mean age was found to be 25 years (range 18-40). The following etiological factors were made out in our study: Benign isolated (40) patients, (53%), infective etiology (14) patients, (19%), vasculitis in background of ANA/dsDNA/ANCA positivity (12) patients, (16%), drug induced (9), patients (12%). The main clinical manifestations of CSVV in our study were found to be the following viz, palpable purpura in all 75 patients (100%), fever & malaise in 30 patients, (40%), ulcers in 30 patients (40%) arthritis/arthralgia in 15 patients, (20%). After a median follow up of 6 months, complete recovery was observed in all patients, although relapses occurred in 8 patients (11%).

Conclusions: CSVV is usually associated with other vasculitis and connective tissue disorders and patients turning ANCA positive somewhere in the course of the disease is of ominous sign and hence, it becomes mandatory to keep these patients on a long term vigil. 


Cutaneous small vessel vasculitis, Anti-nuclear antibody, Leucocytoclastic vasculitis, Fibrinoid necrosis, Vasculitic ulcers, Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody positive vasculitis

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