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International Journal of Rheumatology
Volume 2009, Article ID 368032, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2009/368032
Clinical Study

Necrotizing Lymphocytic Vasculitis Limited to the Peripheral Nerves: Report of Six Cases and Review

1Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Calle 45, Cra 30, Bogota, Colombia
2Division of Rheumatology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 1st Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA

Received 10 April 2009; Revised 17 December 2009; Accepted 28 December 2009

Academic Editor: Hiroshi Hashimoto

Copyright © 2009 José Félix Restrepo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. The systemic vasculitides are syndromes characterized by inflammation and injury (necrosis or thrombosis) of blood vessels, resulting in clinical manifestations according to the affected vascular bed, but not classically in stocking-glove neuropathy. Objective. To describe a form of primary vasculitis affecting strictly peripheral nerves manifesting as stocking-glove neuropathy. Methods. Case series of 110 patients seen in three centers in Bogotá who presented with symptoms and signs of polyneuropathy and/or were identified with vasculitis affecting only the peripheral nerves, and who underwent sural nerve biopsy. Results. Six patients had a vasculitis affecting only the peripheral nerves diagnosed on sural nerve biopsy which demonstrated a mixed infiltrate of monocytes/macrophages and lymphocytes especially in the small epineurial blood vessels. Over time, all had worsening of symptoms, with grip weakness and motor deficits in the hand and feet. Serologies and acute phase reactants were normal in all patients. Treatment response to immunosuppression was satisfactory in 5 patients; 1 patient had progressive neurologic damage. Conclusions. There is a distinct form of primary vasculitis of the peripheral nervous system characterized by distal sensory polyneuropathy with stocking-glove distribution with good prognosis, few and minor relapses and good response to treatment even after delayed diagnosis.