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September 1980

Vasculitis Associated With Hairy Cell Leukemia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Dr Rudolph is now in private practice.

Arch Dermatol. 1980;116(9):1077-1078. doi:10.1001/archderm.1980.01640330115031

A wide variety of cutaneous manifestations may accompany leukemia. The specific lesions of leukemia result from infiltration of the skin by malignant cells, or a variety of nonspecific cutaneous lesions (leukemids) may develop. Vasculitis, however, is an uncommon accompaniment of any leukemic state. I report here a case of deep vasculitis associated with leukemic reticuloendotheliosis (hairy cell leukemia) in which necrotic cutaneous lesions developed. To my knowledge, neither specific nor nonspecific skin lesions have been described in detail in this uncommon malignant neoplasm.

Report of a Case  A 43-year-old man was found to have leukemic reticuloendotheliosis (hairy cell leukemia) in November 1975. He sought dermatologic evaluation in January 1976 because of multiple painful lesions, which had been present for several weeks, on the posterior lower part of his legs. His past history included severe weight loss, recurrent fever, pulmonary infection, and easy bruising, all occurring in the previous few months.