Rheumatic Manifestations of Cocaine Use

Jonathan Graf


Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2013;25(1):50-55. 

In This Article

Cocaine-associated Vascular Disease

Cocaine can induce vasoconstriction, accelerated atherogenesis and arterial stenoses and aneurisms, which can lead to ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke, encephalopathy, myocardial ischaemia and infarction, mesenteric ischaemia and even renal infarction.[2,23–25] If not recognized, many of these complications might be confused with those of a primary vasculitis, especially if imaging studies demonstrate vascular abnormalities. Because these complications are not sequelae of a primary autoimmune or inflammatory disorder, patients frequently do not have elevated ESR or CRP levels or positive ANCA serologies.