Livedo Reticularis: An Enigma

Isr Med Assoc J. 2015 Feb;17(2):104-7.


Livedo reticularis is a common cutaneous manifestation of APS and may be a prognostic marker of more severe disease. It is associated with arterial and venous thrombosis and pregnancy morbidity irrespective of the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies. Recent results suggest the possibility of an association with accelerated atherosclerosis in patients with livedo. Given the similarities between APS and livedo (aPL negative), experts in this field believe that livedo may represent the so-called seronegative antiphospholipid syndrome, although the exact relationship of livedo with seronegative APS remains to be elucidated. LV may present as painful cutaneous ulcers that are often difficult to treat. The underlying pathology involves prothrombotic as well as immunological processes with some overlap with APS. Treatment remains challenging and results are often variable.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Anticardiolipin / blood*
  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid / blood*
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / complications
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / immunology
  • Atherosclerosis / diagnosis
  • Atherosclerosis / physiopathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Management
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Livedo Reticularis* / diagnosis
  • Livedo Reticularis* / etiology
  • Livedo Reticularis* / immunology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / immunology*
  • Prognosis
  • Thrombosis / complications


  • Antibodies, Anticardiolipin
  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid