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Papers of the Week

2022 Jul 11

Rev Med Interne

[Paroxysmal vascular acrosyndromes: Practical approach to diagnosis and management].


Paroxysmal vascular acrosyndromes are related to a peripheral vasomotor disorder and presented as paroxysmal color changes of the fingers. They include primary Raynaud's phenomenon (RP), which is the most common, secondary RP and erythermalgia. They are to be distinguished from non-paroxysmal acrosyndromes such as acrocyanosis and chilblains, which are very frequent and often associated with RP, digital ischemia and necrosis, spontaneous digital hematoma and acrocholosis. The challenge of a consultation for a vascular acrosyndrome is to make positive diagnosis through history and clinical examination, and to specify its nature, to prescribe complementary exams. In any patient consulting for RP, assessment includes at least an antinuclear antibody test and capillaroscopy. For erythermalgia, a blood count and even a search for JAK2 mutation are required. A thryoid-stimulating hormon assay, a test for antinuclear antibodies, and a search for small fiber neuropathy are also performed. The treatment of RP is essentially documented for secondary RP where calcium channel blockers are indicated in first line, and iloprost in severe cases. The treatment of primitive erythermalgia is based on sodium channel blockers such as mexiletine or lidocaine infusions, and on drugs effective on neuropathic pain, such as gabapentin or amitryptiline, in case of erythermalgia associated with small fiber neuropathy. The treatment of erythermalgia associated with myeloproliferative syndromes is based on etiological treatment and aspirin.