Recurrent and refractory lower limbs lymphedema in psoriatic arthritis: a case description and literature review

Submitted: 7 September 2021
Accepted: 6 October 2021
Published: 21 December 2021
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Lymphedema is an uncommon extra-articular complication of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but it can also be associated with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), although rarely. While lymphedema associated with RA is well characterized in literature, only few cases have been described among patients with PsA. Upper limbs are the most common sites involved, with asymmetric pattern, even if some patients may present lower limb oedema, or progressive bilateral oedema.

Chronic established lymphoedema deriving from lymphatic vessel dysfunction should be clearly distinct from inflammatory distal pitting edema (IDPE), resulting from tenosynovitis and frequently encountered in PsA. In contrast to lymphedema, the latter condition generally presents an excellent response to steroid therapy, therefore it is essential to recognize the exact etiology of lymphoedema to approach the correct treatment. Here we report a case of lower limbs lymphedema in PsA and review the available literature upon the topic.

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