Metal-induced generalized pruriginous dermatitis and endovascular surgery

Contact Dermatitis. 2000 Jul;43(1):35-40. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0536.2000.043001035.x.


Metal contact allergy is a common problem in the general population. Diagnostic and therapeutic medical-surgical procedures in which metals can be responsible for eczema are diverse. Endovascular aortic surgery is still an experimental but less invasive technique. A generalized eczematous dermatitis elicited by metal of an endovascular prosthesis is presented. An abdominal aortic aneurysm was diagnosed in a 79-year-old woman. Endoluminal repair with a straight Vanguard endograft was successful. 3 weeks later, she suffered a severe episode of erythema and eczema on the legs. Since then, she complained of continuous pruritus with eczema and excoriated papules. The dermatitis and also the patch test pathology showed eczema. Patch testing was positive to nickel sulfate and cobalt chloride. An endograft semi-quantitative metal analysis was performed with plasma-induction joint mass-spectrometry. The self-expanding metal stent was mainly composed of nickel (approximately 55%) and titanium (21%) with reinforcing thread of platinum. Antimony was detected only in the polyester textile. These results are consistent with Nitinol composition. The need for preoperative patch testing for metals is controversial. Enquiry about metal allergy is recommended before endoluminal surgical procedures. In the near future, the design of endografts must take into account the possibility of this sort of reaction.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Allergens / adverse effects*
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / surgery*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Eczema / diagnosis*
  • Eczema / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Nickel / adverse effects*
  • Patch Tests
  • Stents / adverse effects*


  • Allergens
  • Nickel