Vasculitic purpura in vinyl chloride disease: a case report
N MagnavitaG Giuliano
Vinyl chloride (VC), a volatile substance mostly used for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) synthesis, is a systemic toxicant particularly noxious to endothelium. Angiosarcoma of the liver, Raynaud's phenomenon, scleroderma-like lesions, acroosteolysis and neuritis are known to be typical vinyl chloride-associated manifestations (VC disease). A so far unknown feature of the disease is purpura. This was first observed by the authors in a worker of a PVC-producing plant. The skin eruption was characterized by small purpuric maculae with tiny, palpable spots and papulae, mostly concentrated on the lower part of the legs, changing into bullae, pustules and crusts and tending to spontaneous regression after withdrawal from VC exposure. A skin biopsy revealed marked inflammatory reaction with a mostly lymphocytic and histiocytic infiltration around and in the walls of dermal arterioles. The finding of increased circulating immune complexes and anti-smooth muscle autoantibodies strengthens the hypothesis that immunologic changes play a role in the appearance of "vinylic purpura."
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