Sneddon's syndrome: diagnosis by skin biopsy and MRI in 17 patients.
Sneddon's syndrome, characterized by generalized livedo racemosa and cerebrovascular lesions, is an underdiagnosed disease. We evaluated clinical, laboratory, histological, and neuroradiological findings in a series of 17 patients to improve diagnostic criteria for Sneddon's syndrome.
Patients with generalized livedo racemosa and cerebrovascular events were included in the study. All underwent neurological and dermatological examination, skin biopsy, computed tomographic scan, magnetic resonance imaging as well as magnetic resonance angiography, sonography of the extracranial arteries, and a comprehensive laboratory protocol.
Completed stroke was present in eight patients, and 15 reported transient neurological deficits. Magnetic resonance imaging yielded cerebral abnormalities in 16 of 17, whereas computed tomographic scans were abnormal in only 12 of 16 patients. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed more lesions in individual patients than did computed tomography. Magnetic resonance angiography demonstrated patent intracranial vessels in 16 of 17 patients. Skin biopsy showed distinct histopathological findings in all patients. The involved vessels were small to medium-sized arteries at the border between dermis and subcutis. Early inflammatory reactions were followed by subendothelial proliferation and a late fibrotic stage. Laboratory examinations showed impaired creatinine clearance in eight patients, whereas all other laboratory tests, including antiphospholipid antibodies, were normal.
In this series, magnetic resonance imaging and skin biopsy were useful for confirmation of the diagnosis of Sneddon's syndrome. Magnetic resonance findings were not specific, but the high sensitivity for detection of asymptomatic brain lesions helped to confirm the diagnosis in patients with transient symptoms. Histological features of skin biopsies were characteristic if appropriate techniques were employed.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association