Immunologic Research

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 395–401 | Cite as

Clinicopathologic correlation of 282 leukocytoclastic vasculitis cases in a tertiary hospital: a focus on direct immunofluorescence findings at the blood vessel wall

  • Caroline Maris Takatu
  • Antonio Pedro Ribeiro Heringer
  • Valéria Aoki
  • Neusa Yuriko Sakai Valente
  • Paula Cristina de Faria Sanchez
  • Jozélio Freire de Carvalho
  • Paulo Ricardo Criado
Mechanism in Autoimmunity


This is the largest direct immunofluorescence (DIF) analysis of patients with histology-proven cutaneous leukocytoclastic vasculitis (LCV). To establish the correlation of deposition of immune complexes at the blood vessel walls with underlying causes and prognosis of LCV, we performed a retrospective study from January 2007 to December 2014. The patients are followed at the Department of Dermatology, Hospital Das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, a tertiary hospital at São Paulo, Brazil. We reviewed the data of 282 biopsy-proven LCV cases with DIF performed. For the statistical analysis, we included only patients with positive DIF exclusively in vessel walls (235/282 patients). We planned to find a correlation between the DIF profiles of LCV patients and the epidemiology data, underlying causes and prognosis. Ages ranged from five to 87 years old (yo), median age of 45 and 191/282 (67.73 %) were female individuals. DIF analysis showed positivity in 70.21 % of the samples, and C3 was the most frequent immunoreactant. Immunoglobulin A (IgA) deposition at the blood vessel wall was related to age and absence of autoimmune/inflammatory diseases. Immunoglobulin M (IgM) deposition at the blood vessel wall was related to females, autoimmune/inflammatory disorders, C3 and C4 consumption and antinuclear antibody and anti-SSA/anti-SSB positivity. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) deposition at the blood vessel wall was associated with age and positive ANCA; finally, C3 deposition at the blood vessel wall was associated with hematuria and renal involvement. Systemic involvement was present in 12.5 % cases of LCV patients. C3 deposits, the most frequent finding of this study, were related to renal involvement; IgA deposits to absence of autoimmune or inflammatory diseases; IgM deposition to the presence of autoimmune or inflammatory diseases and IgG deposits were associated with positive ANCA. DIF seems to be an important method to establish the prognosis and underlying etiology of LCV. Characterization of the immune complex at the blood vessel wall by DIF is relevant to determine underlying conditions related to LCV.


Cutaneous vasculitis Cutaneous leukocytoclastic vasculitis Cutaneous small vessel vasculitis Direct immunofluorescence 



We are indebted to Daniel Silvestre—LIM01 University of São Paulo Medical School, Brazil—for the help with the statistical analysis.

Author Contributions

Dr(s) Heringer and Takatu had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Heringer, Takatu, Criado, Aoki, Valente, and Sanchez contributed to study concept and design. Heringer, Takatu, and Sanchez contributed to acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of data, and drafting of the manuscript. Aoki, Criado, Valente, and Carvalho critically revised the manuscript for important intellectual content. Daniel Silvestre performed the statistical analysis. No funding was obtained. Aoki and Criado provided administrative, technical, or material support. Aoki, Valente, and Criado supervised the study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline Maris Takatu
    • 1
  • Antonio Pedro Ribeiro Heringer
    • 1
  • Valéria Aoki
    • 1
  • Neusa Yuriko Sakai Valente
    • 1
  • Paula Cristina de Faria Sanchez
    • 1
  • Jozélio Freire de Carvalho
    • 2
  • Paulo Ricardo Criado
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology, Hospital das ClínicasUniversity of São Paulo Medical SchoolSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Health Science InstituteFederal University of BahiaSalvadorBrazil

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