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Generalized Essential Telangiectasia

  • Author: David Green, MD, PA; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
 
Updated: Oct 09, 2015
 

Background

A telangiectasis refers to a visibly dilated blood vessel on the skin or mucosal surface. Telangiectases that develop in the absence of any preceding or coexisting cutaneous or systemic disease are considered to be primary or essential. Telangiectases resulting from or in association with a known disease state are classified as secondary.

Different presentations of primary telangiectases have been arbitrarily classified as distinct syndromes, designated by terms that often are descriptive based on inheritance, age of onset, anatomic distribution, morphology, prognosis, or associated findings. No recognized nomenclature exists for these telangiectatic disorders. Generalized essential telangiectasia refers to one syndrome of acquired primary telangiectases that are so termed because of their widespread anatomic distribution.[1]

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Pathophysiology

The pathophysiologic factors causing blood vessel dilatation in generalized essential telangiectasia are yet to be elaborated. Familial cases have been reported with an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance.

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Epidemiology

Frequency

Neither the incidence nor prevalence of generalized essential telangiectasia is known.

Race

Generalized essential telangiectasia has been reported more commonly in whites, perhaps because of the marked contrast of the vessels on light-complexioned skin.

Sex

Women are affected more commonly than are men, and in one published study of 13 people with generalized essential telangiectasia, 10 of the reported patients were women.

Age

In one report of 13 patients, the average age of onset for generalized essential telangiectasia was 38 years.[2]

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

David Green, MD, PA Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, Howard University Hospital

David Green, MD, PA is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Phlebology, American Medical Association, American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Richard P Vinson, MD Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Mountain View Dermatology, PA

Richard P Vinson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Texas Medical Association, Association of Military Dermatologists, Texas Dermatological Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Van Perry, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio

Van Perry, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Gregory J Raugi, MD, PhD Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Dermatology, University of Washington at Seattle School of Medicine; Chief, Dermatology Section, Primary and Specialty Care Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center of Seattle

Gregory J Raugi, MD, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

References
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  2. McGrae JD, Winkelmann RK. Generalized essential telangiectasia: Report of a clinical and histochemical study of 13 patients with acquired cutaneous lesions. JAMA. 1963 Sep 21. 185:909-13. [Medline].

  3. Ali MM, Teimory M, Sarhan M. Generalized essential telangiectasia with conjunctival involvement. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2006 Nov. 31(6):781-2. [Medline].

  4. Gantenbein C, Seiter S, Weik R, Reinhold U, Ruprecht KW, Tilgen W. [Ocular manifestation of progressive essential telangiectases]. J Fr Ophtalmol. 2001 Jan. 24(1):45-8. [Medline].

  5. Mannis MJ, Bindi CS, Huntley AC. Ocular manifestations of generalized essential telangiectasia. Cornea. 1999 Nov. 18(6):731-3. [Medline].

  6. Seiter S, Gantenbein C, Ugurel S, Ruprecht KW, Tilgen W, Reinhold U. An oculocutaneous presentation of essential progressive telangiectasia. Br J Dermatol. 1999 May. 140(5):969-71. [Medline].

  7. Swensson B, Swensson O, Häring G. [Progressive disseminated essential telangiectasia with conjunctival involvement]. Klin Monatsbl Augenheilkd. 1998 Feb. 212(2):116-9. [Medline].

  8. Person JR, Longcope C. Estrogen and progesterone receptors are not increased in generalized essential telangiectasia. Arch Dermatol. 1985 Jul. 121(7):836-7. [Medline].

  9. Sadick NS, Niedt GW. A study of estrogen and progesterone receptors in spider telangiectasias of the lower extremities. J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1990 Jul. 16(7):620-3. [Medline].

  10. Thieu KP, Haynes HA. Generalized essential telangiectasia with predilection for surgical scar. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009 Apr. 60(4):710-1. [Medline].

  11. Wells RS, Dowling GB. Hereditary benign telangiectasia. Br J Dermatol. 1971 Jan. 84(1):93-4. [Medline].

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  13. Braverman IM. Ultrastructure and organization of the cutaneous microvasculature in normal and pathologic states. J Invest Dermatol. 1989 Aug. 93(2 Suppl):2S-9S. [Medline].

  14. Wenzel SM, Hohenleutner U, Landthaler M. Progressive disseminated essential telangiectasia and erythrosis interfollicularis colli as examples for successful treatment with a high-intensity flashlamp. Dermatology. 2008. 217(3):286-90. [Medline].

  15. Green D. Sclerotherapy treatment insights. Dermatol Clin. 1998 Jan. 16(1):195-211. [Medline].

  16. Shelley WB. Essential progressive telangiectasia. Successful treatment with tetracycline. JAMA. 1971 May 24. 216(8):1343-4. [Medline].

  17. Shelley WB, Shelley ED. Essential progressive telangiectasia in an autoimmune setting: successful treatment with acyclovir. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1989 Nov. 21(5 Pt 2):1094-6. [Medline].

  18. Shelley WB, Fierer JA. Focal intravascular coagulation in progressive ascending telangiectasia: ultrastructural studies of ketoconazole-induced involution of vessels. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1984 May. 10(5 Pt 2):876-87. [Medline].

  19. Buscaglia DA, Conte ET. Successful treatment of generalized essential telangiectasia with the 585-nm flashlamp-pumped pulsed dye laser. Cutis. 2001 Feb. 67(2):107-8. [Medline].

  20. Gambichler T, Avermaete A, Wilmert M, Altmeyer P, Hoffmann K. Generalized essential telangiectasia successfully treated with high-energy, long-pulse, frequency-doubled Nd:YAG laser. Dermatol Surg. 2001 Apr. 27(4):355-7. [Medline].

  21. Blume JE. Generalized essential telangiectasia: a case report and review of the literature. Cutis. 2005 Apr. 75(4):223-4. [Medline].

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