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Br J Dermatol. 1997 Jan;136(1):108-11.

Urticaria haemorrhagica profunda.

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Department of Dermatology, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany.


Substantial subcutaneous haemorrhage without preceding trauma or underlying bleeding disorder is a rare occurrence in dermatological practice, essentially restricted to early childhood (acute haemorrhagic oedema of childhood). We report an adolescent with a morphologically unique bleeding manifestation. A 16-year-old boy presented with two episodes of massive subcutaneous haemorrhage in association with urticarial vasculitis. There was no history of preceding trauma or haemorrhagic disorder. Haemorrhage was observed in areas typically affected by angioedema, such as the periorbital, perioral, lingual, sublingual and laryngeal areas. History revealed an atopic diathesis with hay fever and examination showed alopecia areata. An antinuclear antibody titre and the presence of lupus anticoagulant indicated transient antiphospholipid antibodies. As urticaria corresponds to urticaria profunda angioedema, we hypothesize a pathophysiological relationship between superficial urticarial vasculitis and the deep variant of urticarial vasculitic disease, leading to the unique morphology present in our patient.

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