Cutaneous Manifestations of Vasculitis

Lisa Y. Xu, Edward M. Esparza, Milan J. Anadkat, Kimberley G. Crone, Richard D. Brasington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objectives: To discuss the clinical features, diagnostic evaluation, and treatment options for cutaneous vasculitis. Methods: The literature in the PubMed database was reviewed regarding the presentation, pathophysiology, clinical workup, and treatment of cutaneous vasculitis. Results: Available classification criteria of vasculitis are based on histopathologic criteria or clinicohistologic features. These have been designed more for research purposes than for clinical application. Skin findings such as palpable purpura, nodules, urticaria, ulcers, and infarction are clues to the presence of vasculitis. Pathologic findings of fibrinoid necrosis, infiltration by neutrophils or lymphocytes, and deposition of complement and immunoglobulin may be helpful in reaching a specific diagnosis. However, there is considerable overlap across different conditions. Conclusions: The correct diagnosis of cutaneous manifestations of vasculitis requires an understanding of vasculitis classification, recognition of specific clinical patterns, and the ability to interpret histopathologic data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-360
Number of pages13
JournalSeminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • classification
  • cutaneous vasculitis
  • disease course
  • evaluation
  • pathology
  • presentation
  • treatment


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