Livedoid vasculopathy: long-term follow-up results following hyperbaric oxygen therapy

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Abstract

Background

Livedoid vasculopathy, also known as atrophie blanche, is a recurrent painful vasculopathy appearing mostly on the lower limbs. Treatment is challenging and relapses are frequent.

Objectives

To analyse the long-term effect and safety of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy in treating livedoid vasculopathy.

Methods

Twelve patients with active livedoid vasculopathy were included in this study. All patients underwent HBO therapy five times a week. Each week photographs were taken and the total dose of analgesics was recorded. Side-effects were documented and assessed. Recurrence was defined as the presence of skin ulceration.

Results

Of the eight patients who completed the treatment, resumption of ambulation and reduction of analgesics were achieved at an average of 4·9 HBO therapy sessions. Leg ulcers in all eight patients healed completely at a mean of 3·4 weeks (range 2–5 weeks). Six patients suffered relapses of ulceration and responded to additional HBO therapy. No significant side-effects were found.

Conclusions

HBO is a relatively safe, fast and effective method to treat patients with livedoid vasculopathy.

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