Chronic chilblains: the clinical presentation and disease course in a large paediatric series

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Department of Pediatrics A, Edmond & Lily Safra Children's Hospital, Tel Hashomer, Israel. shay.pade@sheba.health.gov.il

CER5730 Submission on line
2013 Vol.31, N°3 - PI 0463, PF 0468
Paediatric Rheumatology

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Rheumatology Article



Children often present during winter with painful, red-purple swollen fingers and/or toes, usually misdiagnosed as Raynaud`s phenomenon. Pernio, or chronic chilblains, is a localised inflammatory lesion of the skin resulting from an abnormal response to cold. The aim of this study was to better characterise the clinical presentation of chronic chilblains in children.
This is a single-centre retrospective study of patients referred to our paediatric rheumatology clinic with cold, purple, and painful hands. Patients were identified from the paediatric rheumatology clinic database, at the Safra Children Hospital, Israel. Data of the clinical presentation, physical findings, laboratoy investigations and the course of the disease were extracted from the patients` charts and analysed.
A total of 33 patients (27 females, sex ratio 4.5:1) were identified. Patients age at presentation was 13.5±2.1, and disease duration was 2.0±1.0 winters. Patients presented with prolonged capillary refill time (100%) and abnormal modified Allen test (75.6%). Fingers swelling was the most common finding (81.8%), followed by proximal interphalangeal joint (PIPs) swelling (63.6%), skin ulceration (54.5%), and dry, irritated skin (45.5%). Nailfold capillary microscopy was normal in all patients. The only abnormal laboratory test was the test for anti-nuclear factor (ANA) in 25%.
We report a large series of children with a unique symptomatology consisting in chronic chilblains.

PMID: 23414913 [PubMed]

Received: 30/05/2012 - Accepted : 24/09/2012 - In Press: 15/02/2013 - Published: 03/05/2013