p-ANCA-Associated Vasculitis Caused by Levamisole-Adulterated Cocaine: A Case Report

Case Rep Emerg Med. 2013:2013:878903. doi: 10.1155/2013/878903. Epub 2013 Feb 7.


A rare case of a patient with an unusual skin rash after using cocaine is presented. A clinical diagnosis of levamisole-induced vasculitis was made based on initial presentation of purpuric skin lesions involving the ears and positive cocaine on urine toxicology screening. The diagnosis was confirmed after laboratory findings of neutropenia, positive serum levamisole, and a histopathologic test of the skin lesions. The pathophysiology of this condition is discussed. Treatment with methylprednisolone and prednisone led to the resolution of the neutropenia and complete recovery of the skin lesions. With the growing use of levamisole-tainted cocaine, clinicians should be aware of the symptoms of vasculitis and neutropenia induced by this combination of drugs to avoid unnecessary tests and delayed diagnosis.