A patient is reported with a history of several years of chronic urticaria, transient fever, arthralgias and secondary systemic amyloidosis. A biopsy of an urticarial lesion showed necrotizing vasculitis and amyloid deposits in the eccrine sweat glands. Amyloid A deposits were also detected in kidney and rectum biopsies. This patient is likely to represent a variant of the Muckle-Wells syndrome (chronic relapsing urticaria, fever, arthralgia, deafness and renal amyloidosis). Hitherto undescribed is the presence of a necrotizing vasculitis as cause of the urticarial rash; further investigation will determine whether or not this finding represents the rule rather than an exception.