What are the possible complications of cutaneous cholesterol emboli (CCE)?

Updated: Apr 12, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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The main complication of CCE is gangrene necessitating extremity amputation. In cases of penile ischemia and necrosis, circumcision and even penectomy has been required. In 73 patients with CCE, amputation was performed in 11 (15%).

Patients with CCE frequently have emboli to other systems and the attendant complications. The most common sites of embolization that result in clinical disease are the renal, cardiac, and gastrointestinal systems. Findings include hypertension, renal failure, myocardial infarction, and a multitude of gastrointestinal disorders, including hemorrhage, ulcers, infarction, obstruction, perforation, and stricture formation.

Death most often results from multiple factors or from renal or cardiac complications.

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