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May 1987

Dermal Pericapillary Fibrin in Venous Disease and Venous Ulceration

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology (Drs Falanga, Nemeth, and Eaglstein, and Ms Alstadt) and Surgery (Dr Moosa), University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr Falanga is now with the University of Miami School of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1987;123(5):620-623. doi:10.1001/archderm.1987.01660290088022

• Pericapillary fibrin deposition is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of venous ulceration. To our knowledge, however, there is no previous evidence that pericapillary fibrin is deposited in the tissue adjacent to venous ulcers. We prospectively studied patients with ulcers of the lower extremities for the presence of dermal pericapillary fibrin in the skin adjacent to the ulcers. On direct immunofluorescence, pericapillary fibrin was found in 14 (93%) of the 15 patients with venous ulceration but in only one (7%) of the 14 subjects with ulcers due to other causes. We also confirmed the presence of dermal pericapillary fibrin in legs with venous disease without ulcerations. We conclude that the pericapillary fibrin is easily demonstrable in the dermis adjacent to venous ulcers. In the evaluation of ulcers due to uncertain causes, the presence of dermal pericapillary fibrin may provide additional diagnostic help.

(Arch Dermatol 1987;123:620-623)

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