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July 2001

Palpable Purpura on the Extremities

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Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001

Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(7):957-962. doi:

Microscopic examination revealed a dense dermal perivascular infiltrate with a predominance of neutrophils and extravasated red blood cells. Higher-power magnification demonstrated nuclear dust (karyorrhexis) and the presence of neutrophils and fibrin within vessel walls.

Leukocytoclastic vasculitis is a common cause of purpuric lesions on the extremities. Bacterial endocarditis should be considered, especially if the patient has a fever and an underlying heart murmur, because acute management of this life-threatening condition is required.

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