Cholesterol crystal embolisation: report of two cases and literature review

Authors: Mallya, J., Lesna, M. and Allen, S.C.

Journal: Journal of the Hong Kong Geriatrics Society

Volume: 10

Pages: 25-28


Cholesterol crystal embolization (CCE) is a disorder of people with widespread atherosclerosis, most of whom are elderly. It often follows a precipitating event, such as angiography and presents most commonly with renalfailure and cutaneous involvement of the feet. The diagnosis is established histologically by demonstrating occlusion of arterioles by cholesterol crystals. At present there is no specific treatment though avoidance of any further precipitating factors is crucial. The role of anticoagulants is uncertain and requires-further research. The condition is fatal in some cases, particularly when renal vessels are involved. Less than half of cases demonstrated at post mortem examination had the diagnosis made antemortem, possibly due to a low level of awareness of CCE.

Clinicians who make the diagnosis can avoid subjecting theirpatients tofurther unnecessa y and fruitless investigations and interventions. We present two cases which illustrate the spectrum

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Stephen Allen