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Characteristics, prognosis, and outcomes of cutaneous ischemia and gangrene in systemic necrotizing vasculitides: a retrospective multicenter study

, : Characteristics, prognosis, and outcomes of cutaneous ischemia and gangrene in systemic necrotizing vasculitides: a retrospective multicenter study. Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism 43(5): 681-688

To describe the prevalence, characteristics, and outcome of cutaneous ischemia, and whether it can occur in systemic necrotizing vasculitides (SNVs), i.e., polyarteritis nodosa, granulomatosis with polyangiitis, and eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis. We conducted a retrospective analysis of all patients with SNV who were included in the French Vasculitis Study Group cohort database between March 1963 and September 2007. We compared characteristics and outcomes for patients with and without cutaneous ischemia (digital necrosis and/or isolated necrotic cutaneous ulcers). Among the 1304 patients with a diagnosis of SNVs, 40 (3.1%) had digital necrosis and 25 (1.9%) had isolated necrotic cutaneous ulcers, with an equal distribution among SNVs. Presence of cutaneous ischemia was associated with past and/or current smoking [odds ratio (OR), 1.73; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.02-2.95] and history of coronary artery disease (2.40; 1.01-6.00), as well as with other cutaneous manifestations (6.54; 3.21-8.67), gastrointestinal tract perforations (4.29; 1.41-13.07), and arthralgias (1.84; 1.10-3.07) during diagnosis. Ten patients with digital necrosis underwent extremity amputation, but no patient with isolated necrotic cutaneous ulcers (p = 0.007) underwent it. Smoking was the main risk factor of amputation (OR, 9.1; 1.7-48.9). At a mean follow-up of 10 years, cutaneous ischemia was identified as an independent predictor of vasculitis relapse (hazard ratio, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.05-2.05) and all-cause death (1.66; 1.01-2.74). Cutaneous ischemia is a rare manifestation of SNVs but is associated with an increased risk of relapse and mortality. Tobacco use is associated with amputation, which emphasizes the importance of managing conventional cardiovascular risk factors in SNV patients.


PMID: 24120178

DOI: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2013.09.001

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