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Dermatology Online Journal

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Sickle cell crisis presenting as livedo racemosa


Sickle cell disease is a monogenic hemoglobinopathy that results in the abnormal production of hemoglobin S, which yields the characteristic sickle-shaped red blood cells. Sickle cell vaso-occlusive crisis is a painful complication of sickle cell disease caused by red blood cell entrapment within the microcirculation. The resulting tissue ischemia triggers a secondary inflammatory process involved in the pathogenesis of varying inflammatory skin conditions. Chronic leg ulcers are the most common skin presentation in sickle cell disease. A 58-year-old woman with sickle cell disease presented with systemic edematous plaques with the most notable involvement of her bilateral legs, which exhibited reticulated purpuric patches with central pallor. We report a case highlighting an unusual presentation of livedo racemosa as the presenting sign in a patient with sickle cell disease in vaso-occlusive crisis.

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