JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Erythromelalgia

Peter Franz Klein-Weigel, Theresa Sophie Volz, Jutta Gisela Richter
VASA. Zeitschrift Für Gefässkrankheiten 2018, 47 (2): 91-97
29299961
Erythromelalgia is a rare syndrome characterized by the intermittent or, less commonly, by the permanent occurrence of extremely painful hyperperfused skin areas mainly located in the distal extremities. Primary erythromelalgia is nowadays considered to be a genetically determined neuropathic disorder affecting SCN9A, SCN10A, and SCN11A coding for NaV1.7, NaV1.8, and NaV1.9 neuronal sodium channels. Secondary forms might be associated with myeloproliferative disorders, connective tissue disease, cancer, infections, and poisoning. Between the pain episodes, the affected skin areas are usually asymptomatic, but there are patients with typical features of acrocyanosis and/or Raynaud's phenomenon preceding or occurring in between the episodes of erythromelalgia. Diagnosis is made by ascertaining the typical clinical features. Thereafter, the differentiation between primary and secondary forms should be made. Genetic testing is recommended, especially in premature cases and in cases of family clustering in specialized genetic institutions after genetic counselling. Multimodal therapeutic intervention aims toward attenuation of pain and improvement of the patient's quality of life. For this purpose, a wide variety of nonpharmacological approaches and pharmacological substances for topical and systemic use have been proposed, which are usually applied individually in a step-by-step approach. Prognosis mainly depends on the underlying condition and the ability of the patients and their relatives to cope with the disease.

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