Primary or idiopathic erythermalgia is characterized by recurrent, red, warm, and painful lower extremities. It arises at young age and persists throughout life because no treatment is available. We report the cutaneous pathology of affected skin lesions of three patients with primary erythermalgia. Biopsy specimens showed a mild perivascular mononuclear infiltrate, thickened blood vessel basement membranes, abundant perivascular edema, and moderate endothelial swelling. The thickened basal membrane of the blood vessels showed a laminar structure, and abundant perivascular edema and moderate endothelial cell swelling were evident. These histopathologic findings in primary erythermalgia appear to be nonspecific but allow diagnostic differentiation from erythromelalgia in which fibromuscular intimal proliferation and occlusive thrombi in the endarteriolar capillaries are apparent and from erythermalgia secondary to vasculitis. Histopathologic examination of affected skin lesions in patients with red, congested, warm, and painful burning extremities is a valuable tool in the diagnostic process.

, , ,,
American Journal of Dermatopathology
Department of Pathology

Drenth, J., Vuzevski, V., van Joost, T., Casteels-Van Daele, M., Vermylen, J., & Michiels, J. (1996). Cutaneous pathology in primary erythermalgia. American Journal of Dermatopathology, 18(1), 30–34. doi:10.1097/00000372-199602000-00005