Cutaneous vasculitis

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Cutaneous vasculitis and vasculopathic processes continue to be difficult to define, diagnose, and treat. Historically, the complexity of these disorders has been compounded by imprecision in terminology and classification and the presence or absence of underlying systemic illness. Approaching the literature with consistent diagnostic constraints and accepted terminology can, it is hoped, eliminate some of the ambiguity. During the past year, several case reports and brief communications regarding cutaneous vasculitis or vasculopathies have appeared, as well as thoughtful basic science reports whose authors have attempted to further the understanding of the underlying pathophysiology. Recent technologic advances have produced recombinant cytokines, growth factors, and thrombolytics that have been used therapeutically for a variety of medical illnesses. The role of these agents in the treatment of cutaneous vasculitis and vasculopathies has varied from provocative in some to therapeutic in others. A number of these reports are discussed.

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