Cutaneous vasculitis: a review

J Cutan Pathol. 2003 Mar;30(3):161-73. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0560.2003.00033.x.


As the skin is commonly involved in systemic vasculitic disorders as well as those hypersensitivity states whose expression is largely skin-confined, cutaneous vasculitic lesions offer a window to diagnosis and a ready source of accessible tissue for biopsy. In this review, we discuss the pathologic manifestations of chronic vasculitic syndromes such as granuloma faciale and erythema elevatum diutinum; IgA-associated vasculitis including Henoch-Schonlein purpura; vasculitis seen in the setting of cryoglobulinemia and hypergammaglobulinemia of Waldenstrom, hereditary deficiencies of complement, and IgA deficiency; those leukocytoclastic vasculitides resulting from hypersensitivity reactions to drug, chemical and foodstuff ingestion; and those vasculitides seen in patients with systemic diseases such as polyarteritis nodosa, rheumatoid arthritis, mixed connective tissue disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren's syndrome, relapsing polychondritis, Behcet's disease, Wegener's granulomatosis, and allergic granulomatosis of Churg and Strauss.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Skin / blood supply
  • Skin / pathology*
  • Vasculitis, Leukocytoclastic, Cutaneous / classification
  • Vasculitis, Leukocytoclastic, Cutaneous / etiology
  • Vasculitis, Leukocytoclastic, Cutaneous / pathology*