Saturday, 13 November 2010

MRCP revision battle 48.2: livedo reticularis and erythema ab igne

livedo reticularis is a mottled, reticulated vascular pattern that appears like 'purple lace' on the skin.

Click here for an image
Click here for another

Causes of livedo reticularis include:
  • idiopathic - commonly occurs in young females
  • secondary
    • rheumatological: RA/SLE/PAN/dermatomyositis/antiphospholipid syndrome
    • pancreatitis
    • infections: TB/lyme disease/syphillis
    • lymphoma

Note how similar it looks to erythema ab igne (AKA livedo recticularis e calore) which is a rash caused by prolonged heat exposure, for example by sitting by a radiator or holding a hot water bottle.  (photo form wiki commons, taken by Dr Heilman)

Now lets move on to look at one of the causes of livedo reticularis, antiphospholipid syndrome