Impaired skin vasomotor reflexes in patients with erythromelalgia.
Erythromelalgia (EM) is a chronic disorder characterized by intermittent burning pain, warmth and erythema of the extremities. Increasing the local temperature and dependency of the affected limb(s) precipitates the symptoms, whereas direct cooling and elevation of the limb(s) can provide partial relief. Our previous findings showed that patients with EM have enhanced cutaneous vascular tone at rest and during stimulation, which may be due to an increase in sympathetic neural activity. To test this, we measured skin vasoconstrictor responses to contralateral arm cold challenge (CC) and inspiratory gasp (IG) using laser Doppler flowmetry at the toe pulp and fingertip. These areas were chosen because of their dense sympathetic innervation. An index of the vasoconstrictor response (between 0 and 1) was calculated from the change in skin perfusion from baseline following CC and IG. In control subjects, vasoconstrictor responses to CC at the toe and fingertip were both 0. 70+/-0.02 (mean+/-S.E.M.), which were significantly greater (P<0. 001) than corresponding values in patients with EM (0.37+/-0.04 and 0.45+/-0.04 respectively). Similarly, vasoconstrictor responses to IG were significantly greater (P<0.001) at the toe and fingertip in control subjects (0.70+/-0.03 and 0.70+/-0.02 respectively) compared with values in EM patients (0.27+/-0.03 and 0.45+/-0.15 respectively). These data show that, in contrast with control subjects, patients with EM have diminished sympathetic vasoconstrictor responses to both CC and IG. Denervation supersensitivity may play a part by increasing vasoconstrictor responses to circulating catecholamines, leading to a reduction in skin blood flow. Therefore an interplay between neural and vasoactive agents may be involved in the pathophysiology of EM. (+info)
Microvascular arteriovenous shunting is a probable pathogenetic mechanism in erythromelalgia.
Erythromelalgia is a condition consisting of red, warm, and burning painful extremities. Symptoms are relieved by cold and aggravated by heat. A wide variety of etiologic conditions can cause erythromelalgia, but one common pathogenetic mechanism, microvascular arteriovenous shunting, has been hypothesized. The aim of this study was to test this hypothesis. Quantification of skin microvascular perfusion using laser Doppler perfusion imaging and skin temperature at rest and after central body heating was performed in 14 patients with erythromelalgia and 11 controls. Attacks of erythromelalgia were induced in eight patients after heat provocation. In the plantar region of the foot, the location of numerous anatomical arteriovenous shunts, these patients significantly increased the skin perfusion as compared with asymptomatic patients with erythromelalgia and controls. In the dorsal region with few arteriovenous shunts no significant differences between the groups were demonstrated. The results show a relation between clinical symptoms and increased perfusion in the region of numerous anatomical arteriovenous shunts, and support the hypothesis of increased thermoregulatory arteriovenous shunt flow during attacks in primary erythromelalgia. (+info)
Erythromelalgia--a thrombotic complication in chronic myeloproliferative disorders.
Erythromelalgia is a very specific, thrombotic syndrome related with thrombocythemia that may occur during the course of chronic myeloproliferative disorders (MPD), especially polycythemia vera (PV) and essential thrombocythemia (ET). This poorly understood clinical syndrome is characterized by red, congested distal extremities and painful burning sensations, usually confined to the ball of the foot and one or more toes or fingers. If left untreated, it may progress towards acrocyanosis and even peripheral gangrene. Sometimes, it may precede the diagnosis of MPD by months or years. The pathophysiological aspects of erythromelalgia as well as its differentiation with erythermalgia have been reviewed in this study. (+info)
Primary myeloproliferative disorders (MPD) are often associated with hemostasis abnormalities, which may cause many thrombotic or hemorrhagic complications during the course of the disease. Clinical consequences following abnormal hemostatic conditions include various neurological manifestations. It is extremely difficult to predict and evaluate the risk and chance, that MPD patients will develop neurological symptoms. The up-to-date background of pathological thrombocytosis, as well as the neurological aspects of abnormal hemostasis during the course of myeloproliferative disorders have been reviewed in this study. (+info)
The primary erythermalgia-susceptibility gene is located on chromosome 2q31-32.
Primary erythermalgia is a rare disorder characterized by recurrent attacks of red, warm, and painful hands and/or feet. The symptoms are generally refractory to treatment and persist throughout life. Five kindreds with multiple cases of primary erythermalgia were identified, and the largest was subjected to a genomewide search. We detected strong evidence for linkage of the primary erythermalgia locus to markers from chromosome 2q. The highest LOD score (Z) was obtained with D2S2330 (Z(max) = 6.51). Analysis of recombination events identified D2S2370 and D2S1776 as flanking markers, on chromosome 2q31-32. This defines a critical interval of 7.94 cM that harbors the primary erythermalgia gene. Affected members within the additional families also shared a common haplotype on chromosome 2q31-32, supporting our linkage results. Identification of the primary erythermalgia gene will allow a better clinical classification of this pleomorphic group of disorders. (+info)
Impaired neurogenic control of skin perfusion in erythromelalgia.
Erythromelalgia is a clinical diagnosis characterized by erythema, increased temperature and burning pain in acral skin. The pain is relieved by cooling and aggravated by warming. The symptoms have been hypothesized to be caused by skin hypoxia due to increased arteriovenous shunting. We examined skin microvascular perfusion in response to vasoconstrictory and vasodilatory stimuli, to characterize local and central neurogenic reflexes as well as vascular smooth muscle and vascular endothelial function, using laser Doppler perfusion measurements in 14 patients with primary erythromelalgia and healthy control persons. Skin perfusion preceding provocative stimuli was significantly reduced in patients with erythromelalgia (p < 0.01). The laser Doppler flowmetry signal after sympathetic stimulation of reflexes mediated through the central nervous system, was significantly diminished in patients with erythromelalgia as compared with healthy controls (Valsalva's maneuver p < 0.01; contralateral cooling test p < 0.05). Local neurogenic vasoconstrictor (venous cuff occlusion and dependency of the extremity) and vasodilator reflexes (local heating of the skin), as well as tests for vascular smooth muscle and vascular endothelial function (postocclusive hyperemic response) were maintained. These results indicate that postganglionic sympathetic dysfunction and denervation hypersensitivity may play a pathogenetic role in primary erythromelalgia, whereas local neurogenic as well as endothelial function is unaffected. (+info)
Erythromelalgia: an endothelial disorder responsive to sodium nitroprusside.
Erythromelalgia is an unusual syndrome of painful vasodilatation. Aetiopathology is probably different in children and adults. Presentation can be severe and associated with hypertension. Dramatic benefit from infused nitroprusside suggests the disorder could represent a dysfunctional endothelium. (+info)
Reduced skin capillary density during attacks of erythromelalgia implies arteriovenous shunting as pathogenetic mechanism.
Erythromelalgia is characterized by burning pain, erythema, and increased temperature in acral skin. The pain is aggravated by warming and relieved by cooling. Increased microvascular arteriovenous shunting in deep dermal plexa has been hypothesized as the pathogenetic mechanism of pain in affected skin, inducing hypoxia during pain attacks. The aim of this study was to quantify skin capillary density in erythromelalgic patients before and after heat provocation, as increased skin temperature should increase the need for nutritive blood supply by the capillaries. Fourteen patients and 10 healthy control subjects were studied using an enhanced technique of computer-assisted analysis of capillary bed morphology and temperature measurements before and after central body heating. The increase in acral skin temperature was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the eight patients where symptoms were induced after heat provocation, compared to asymptomatic patients and healthy control subjects. The number of visible capillaries in a field of view (1.7 mm2) decreased significantly (p = 0.01) in erythromelalgia patients from 105 (62-137) (median with total range) to 89 (49-118) after warming in areas with numerous arteriovenous anastomoses (nail bed region). In symptomatic patients an even more significant reduction was observed (p = 0.01). The capillary size was also significantly reduced (p < 0.05) from 41.0 (31.5-50.5) (arbitrary units) to 37.3 (33.0-46.0) in symptomatic patients. The change in capillary density in the nail bed area was significantly larger in erythromelalgia patients -17 (-49 to 39) compared to controls 0 (-47 to 13) (p < 0.05), and in symptomatic patients -19 (-49 to -12) compared to asymptomatic patients -8 (-48 to 39) (p < 0.05) and controls (p < 0.01). The reduced skin capillary density after heating is compatible with increased microvascular arteriovenous shunting of blood and a corresponding relative deficit in nutritive perfusion (steal phenomenon) with skin hypoxia, causing the symptoms in erythromelalgia. (+info)