Author(s): Pearson T, Bremmer M, Cohen J, Driscoll M
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Recently, there have been numerous case reports and series describing patients presenting with cutaneous vasculopathy that has been linked to the levamisole frequently found in cocaine. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to review all published case reports and series of patients reported with cutaneous vasculopathic findings of lemavisole induced vasculopathy (LIV) associated with cocaine use. METHODS: A review of PubMed was performed searching the keywords: levamisole, cocaine, in combination with vasculitis, and vasculopathy. Twenty-two case reports and series were available with sufficient data on reported patients to be included. Four patients from the authors' clinical experience are included as well. RESULTS: A number of common clinical and pathological findings are reviewed, including lower extremity (46/55 patients, 84\%) and ear involvement (40/55 patients, 73\%), and positive anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) findings (p-ANCA 42/48 patients, 88\%; anti human neutrophil elastase 11/11 patients, 100\%). Similar numbers of patients were treated with systemic corticosteroids as were treated conservatively; there was comparable improvement on follow up. CONCLUSIONS: There are a number of clinical and laboratory findings that are commonly found in patients with LIV. There is currently insufficient data to recommend treatment with systemic corticosteroids in patients with this condition.
This article was published in Dermatol Online J
and referenced in Internal Medicine: Open Access