Leg ulcers associated with long-term hydroxyurea therapy

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1998 Aug;39(2 Pt 2):372-4. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(98)70394-9.


Hydroxyurea is commonly used in the treatment of various hematologic disorders, e.g., chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), polycythemia vera, and occasionally, at lower doses, for severe psoriasis vulgaris. Cutaneous side effects such as alopecia, diffuse hyperpigmentation, poikiloderma, atrophy of the skin, or nail changes occur, especially with long-term treatment. Painful leg ulcers in association with hydroxyurea have only rarely been reported. We describe 2 patients who developed spontaneous painful leg ulcers during long-term hydroxyurea therapy for a myeloproliferative disorder; these ulcers healed only after hydroxyurea was withdrawn.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyurea / adverse effects*
  • Hydroxyurea / therapeutic use
  • Leg Ulcer / chemically induced*
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polycythemia Vera / drug therapy
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Time Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Hydroxyurea