Clinical features and prognostic factors of cutaneous vasculitis among dermatology patients in Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Latha R. Selvarajah, Siew Eng Choon, Kwee Eng Tey, Yong Nian Chee

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Background: Cutaneous vasculitis is common, yet the risk factors for its chronicity have not been established. Objective: To describe the clinical spectrum and identify risk factors for chronicity of cutaneous vasculitis. Methods: Retrospective data analysis of 275 patients diagnosed with cutaneous vasculitis from January 2008 to December 2013. Results: The mean age was 33.7 (±17.89) years, with female predominance. The majority of patients were Malays (67.3%). Skin biopsy was performed in 110 (40%) patients. The commonest sign was palpable purpura (30.6%). The aetiology remained elusive in 51.3% of patients. Common identifiable causes include infection (19.7%) and connective tissue disease (10.2%). Extracutaneous features were noted in 46.5% of patients. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate and antinuclear antibody were raised in 124 of 170 and 27 of 175 patients with documented results respectively. Cutaneous vasculitis was the presenting symptom in seven patients with newly diagnosed systemic lupus erythematosus. Anti Streptolysin O Titre was positive in 82 of 156 patients with documented results. Despite antibiotics, 31.7% of them had chronic lesions. Prednisolone alone was used in 20% of patients while 16.4% needed steroid-sparing agents. Most patients who needed systemic therapy (62%) had unidentifiable aetiology. Among the 155 patients who remained under follow up, 36.4% had chronic disease, one patient succumbed due to septicaemia, and the rest fully recovered within three months. The presence of ulcerative lesion was significantly associated with developing chronic vasculitis (p=0.003). Conclusion: The clinical spectrum of cutaneous vasculitis in our population was similar to other studies. Ulcerative lesion predicts a chronic outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-349
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Journal of Malaysia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cutaneous vasculitis
  • Prognosis
  • Ulcerative lesion

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