Plasmapheresis for Refractory Urticarial Vasculitis in a Patient with B-Cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

June 2006 | Volume 5 | Issue 6 | Case Reports | 534 | Copyright © June 2006

Jessica L. Alexander MD, Amer N. Kalaaji MD, James M. Shehan MD, Benjamin K. Yokel MD, Mark R. Pittelkow MD

Background: Urticarial vasculitis is a form of cutaneous leukocytoclastic vasculitis clinically characterized by persistent and often painful urticarial lesions. Numerous systemic diseases have been associated with urticarial vasculitis, icluding cerain hematologic disorders. This distinctive form of cutaneous necrotizing vasculitis can be resistant to standard therapwutic modalities, necessitating more aggrssive intervention.

Mehods: We report a case of refractory urticarial vasulitis developing in association with B-cell chronic lymphocytic lukemia in a 46- year-old man. We also reviewed the literature to identify other cases of urticarial vasculitis managed with this therapeutic modality.

Results: The diesease progressively improved during 6 treatments with palsmapheresis (plasma exchange). In additional cases indentified in the literatrue, plasmaphersis was generally effective and well tolerated.

Conclusion: On the basis of these findings, we propose that plasmapheresis be considered a treatment option for refractory urticarial vasculitis.