Infantile acute hemorrhagic edema of the skin: study of ten cases

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1991 Jan;24(1):17-22. doi: 10.1016/0190-9622(91)70002-j.


Infantile acute hemorrhagic edema of the skin is not included as a separate entity in the current English-language literature as it is in continental Europe. Therefore we have attempted to clarify the nosologic position of acute hemorrhagic edema among cutaneous vasculitides in children, on the basis of our experience in 10 cases. Our study confirms that acute hemorrhagic edema affects infants between 4 and 24 months of age. The two main features are an ecchymotic purpura, often in a cockade pattern, and an inflammatory edema of the limbs and face. Visceral involvement is uncommon. Spontaneous and complete resolution occurs within 1 to 3 weeks; one to four attacks may occur. Histopathologic examination demonstrates a leukocytoclastic vasculitis. Perivascular IgA deposits can occasionally be found. Besides typical acute hemorrhagic edema, some cases in 2- to 4-year-old children appear to overlap with Schönlein-Henoch purpura. We suggest that typical acute hemorrhagic edema should be regarded as a separate clinical entity. This allows an appropriate prognosis to be made for this generally benign disease of infants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Ecchymosis / diagnosis
  • Edema* / diagnosis
  • Edema* / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • IgA Vasculitis / diagnosis
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Purpura* / diagnosis
  • Purpura* / pathology
  • Skin Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Skin Diseases* / pathology