What is the prevalence of cutaneous cholesterol emboli (CCE) in the US?

Updated: Apr 12, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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United States

The incidence of CCE is rising in association with increased use of interventional vascular procedures, angioplasties, and anticoagulant/thrombolytic therapy. [4] The frequency of CCE is difficult to estimate because routine necropsy is often limited and does not include evaluation of the skin; however, because the abdominal aorta is usually the site of the most advanced intimal disease, one would anticipate that the lower extremities and associated skin and musculature would be one of the most frequently involved sites. In one study, skin and muscle biopsy specimens were obtained from the lower extremities of 100 consecutive autopsies and a 4% rate of CCE was observed. In a large review of 223 patients with all types of CE, 78 (35%) had skin involvement.

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