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Concept: Vascular-related cutaneous conditions


Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis is a severe condition encompassing two major syndromes: granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly known as Wegener’s granulomatosis) and microscopic polyangiitis. Its cause is unknown, and there is debate about whether it is a single disease entity and what role ANCA plays in its pathogenesis. We investigated its genetic basis.

Concepts: Vasculitis, Wegener's granulomatosis, Autoimmune diseases, Arthritis, Granuloma, Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody, Proteinase 3, Vascular-related cutaneous conditions


Vasculitis is a destructive inflammatory process affecting blood vessels. Pulmonary vasculitis may develop secondary to other conditions or constitute a primary idiopathic disorder. Thoracic involvement is most common in primary idiopathic large-vessel vasculitides (Takayasu arteritis, giant cell arteritis, Behçet disease) and primary antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody-associated small-vessel vasculitides (Wegener granulomatosis, microscopic polyangiitis, Churg-Strauss syndrome). Primary pulmonary vasculitides are rare, and their signs and symptoms are nonspecific, overlapping with those of infections, connective tissue diseases, and malignancies. The radiologic findings in primary pulmonary vasculitis vary widely and can include vessel wall thickening, nodular or cavitary lesions, ground-glass opacities, and consolidations, among others. Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage usually results from primary small-vessel vasculitis in the lungs. To diagnose vasculitis, medical teams must recognize characteristic combinations of clinical, radiologic, laboratory, and histopathologic features.

Concepts: Inflammation, Blood, Blood vessel, Rheumatology, Vasculitis, Wegener's granulomatosis, Giant cell arteritis, Vascular-related cutaneous conditions


This article provides an update on the diagnosis and management of the antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitides, granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly Wegener), microscopic polyangiitis, and eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly Churg-Strauss). Focus is on new schemes of classification and the importance of ANCAs in the diagnosis and prognosis of these systemic vasculitides. Current therapeutic strategies consisting of glucocorticoids in conjunction with conventional or biologic agents for both induction of remission and remission maintenance are outlined. Future research directions include investigation of the optimal duration and frequency of maintenance therapy and development of targeted therapeutic agents.

Concepts: Rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology, Vasculitis, Wegener's granulomatosis, Arthritis, Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody, Vascular-related cutaneous conditions


Systemic vasculitides are great masqueraders and at times their presenting manifestations can be very different from the usual recognized patterns. Such uncommon presentations of granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener’s granulomatosis), classical polyarteritis nodosa and unclassifiable vasculitides are described here with the relevant review of literature.

Concepts: Rheumatology, Vasculitis, Wegener's granulomatosis, Arthritis, Polyarteritis nodosa, Vascular-related cutaneous conditions, Microscopic polyangiitis, Diseases involving the fasciae


Cutaneous polyarteritis nodosa, a special form of polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) without systemic involvement, is classified as one of the ANCA-negative vasculitides of small and medium-sized vessels. It is a very rare disease with unknown etiology and occurs more commonly in women over the age of 40. Typical skin lesions are subcutaneous nodules, livedo racemosa, and ulcerations. We report the case of a 46-year-old woman presenting to our outpatient department who reported having very painful ulcerations of the lower legs with unknown origin for 6 months.

Concepts: Rheumatology, Vasculitis, Polyarteritis nodosa, Vascular-related cutaneous conditions, Livedo reticularis


Postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a syndrome of orthostatic intolerance in the setting of excessive tachycardia with orthostatic challenge, and these symptoms are relieved when recumbent. Apart from symptoms of orthostatic intolerance, there are many other comorbid conditions such as chronic headache, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders, and sleep disturbances. Dermatological manifestations of POTS are also common and range widely from livedo reticularis to Raynaud’s phenomenon.

Concepts: Cardiology, Rheumatology, Syndromes, Orthostatic hypotension, Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, Vascular-related cutaneous conditions, Orthostatic intolerance, Livedo reticularis


Interobserver reliability of histopathologic features in differentiation between cutaneous polyarteritis nodosa (cPAN) and superficial thrombophlebitis (ST) by assessment of inter-rater agreement of five histologic features were investigated.

Concepts: Polyarteritis nodosa, Vascular-related cutaneous conditions


Skin is commonly affected by vasculitic process and often subjected to biopsy. Cutaneous vasculitis can be either primary or part of a systemic vasculitic process. This study was conducted to evaluate the diagnostic utility of direct immunofluorescence (DIF) in determination of etiology of cutaneous vasculitis. All histologically proven cases of cutaneous vasculitis over the past two and half years were retrospectively analyzed along with their clinical and DIF findings (IgG, IgA, IgM, and C3). Within this study period, a total of 198 cases of small-vessel vasculitis were diagnosed based on skin biopsy and DIF findings. The mean age of patients was 31.2 years (range 1-84 years) with slight male dominance (M:F ratio 1.06:1). Henoch-Schonlein purpura/IgA vasculitis was the commonest clinical diagnosis (31%), followed by urticarial vasculitis (11%) and others. Idiopathic vasculitis was suspected in 33% cases. Overall, DIF was positive in 60% (119/198) cases, with vascular deposition of IgA being commonest, followed by C3. The clinical diagnosis of Henoch-Schonlein purpura could be confirmed in 61.5% (40/65) cases by DIF, whereas another 20 unsuspected cases were picked up as IgA vasculitis based on DIF findings. DIF findings confirmed lupus vasculitis in 50% cases. Other cases showed variable nonspecific deposition of C3 and IgM in 42% cases. DIF can be highly useful to classify cutaneous vasculitis, with maximum efficacy for diagnosis of IgA vasculitis and lupus vasculitis. It can aid in the accurate diagnosis even when the histological changes are minimal. All cases of suspected cutaneous vasculitis should be subjected to DIF.

Concepts: Immune system, Medical terms, Biopsy, Diagnosis, Pathology, Immunology, Vasculitis, Vascular-related cutaneous conditions


Erythema ab igne (EAI) is a cutaneous finding caused by prolonged heat exposure and is characterized by a reticular, brownish-pigmented, often telangiectatic dermatosis. The eruption is reminiscent of livedo reticularis, which is typically seen in the setting of a number of rheumatologic conditions, most prominently vasculitis. Identification of key features distinguishing EAI from livedo reticularis can aid in the diagnosis of EAI and correct elucidation of the underlying etiology. Our patient presented with heating pad-induced EAI in the setting of chronic pain. Only 6 other pediatric cases of EAI associated with heat sources for chronic pain are reported (Acta Derm Venereol. 2014;94:365-367, J Pediatr. 2013;163:1789, Int J Eat Disord. 2013;46:381-383, Arch Dis Child. 2008;93:389, Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012;166:185-186, Br J Clin Pract. 1990;44:248-251). Our case highlights the need for awareness of this pathognomonic skin eruption in children with chronic pain conditions to help avoid an extensive workup for vasculitis.

Concepts: Medicine, Rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology, Vasculitis, Erythema ab igne, Vascular-related cutaneous conditions, Livedo reticularis, Medical journals


Polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) is a rare form of primary systemic vasculitis with heterogeneous presentations, treatments and disease course. Historical approaches to classification and diagnostic terminology are reviewed. Since differentiation of PAN from microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) and other ANCA vasculitides by the Chapel Hill conference statements, and with hepatitis associated PAN defined as a secondary vasculitis, the phenotyping and subclassification of PAN has received little attention. Monogenic disorders similar to PAN have been described (familial Mediterranean fever, Adenosine Deaminase-2 deficiency), and cutaneous PAN and single organ vasculitis, discussed. The overlapping phenotypes between PAN and other primary vasculitic syndromes and subphenotypes within PAN are explored. This work will underpin development of newer treatment regimens and future genetic and related aetiologic studies.

Concepts: Rheumatology, Vasculitis, Abdominal pain, Arthritis, Polyarteritis nodosa, Vascular-related cutaneous conditions, Livedo reticularis, Microscopic polyangiitis