This page was printed on25th June 2018
Cholesterol emboli pathology
Authors: Dr Achala Liyanage, Dermatology Fellow, Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand; Assoc Prof Patrick Emanuel, Dermatopathologist, Auckland, New Zealand. January 2015.
Cholesterol embolism occurs spontaneously or following vascular surgery. Cutaneous manifestations range from purpura and livedo to ulceration and gangrene.
Microscopically, clefts indicating the sites of cholesterol deposition are seen in arterioles and arteries in the dermis and subcutis. Fibrin thrombi often surround the cholesterol. There may be extensive surrounding necrosis.
Images provided by Dr Duncan Lamont, Waikato Hospital
Usually none are required.
Deposits of atrial myxoma.
Deposit of material from intravenous injections (usually compounds mixed with illicit drugs).
See the DermNet NZ bookstore
© 2018 DermNet New Zealand Trust.
DermNet NZ does not provide an online consultation service. If you have any concerns with your skin or its treatment, see a dermatologist for advice.