Cocaine-induced pseudovasculitis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Pseudovasculitis is a disease process that mimics the presentation and possibly the laboratory findings of true vasculitis. However, biopsy specimens do not reveal the typical histopathologic findings expected in vasculitis. One often overlooked cause of pseudovasculitis is cocaine use, which has been described in case reports to cause aggressive nasal destruction and various skin lesions and thus has been confused with Wegener granulomatosis or leukocytoclastic vasculitis. Unfortunately, serologic tests such as antinuclear antibody or antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody cannot reliably differentiate between these entities. We describe a patient who presented with what was believed to be Wegener granulomatosis affecting the skin and upper airway. However, findings from repeated biopsies did not support this diagnosis, and the only unifying diagnosis was cocaine-induced pseudovasculitis. The ability to recognize and differentiate between true vasculitis and pseudovasculitis is essential for the clinician because treatment options are radically disparate.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Friedman, DR; Wolfsthal, SD

Published Date

  • May 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 80 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 671 - 673

PubMed ID

  • 15887436

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0025-6196

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4065/80.5.671


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England