Retiform Purpura after Transcatheter Arterial Chemoembolization: A Case Report

Trevor Hansen, Keith Olsen, Kevin White, Jesse Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Cutaneous complications secondary to transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) are exceptionally rare and may occur because of nontarget embolization of terminal vessels supplying the skin. We present a patient who developed painful retiform purpura on the right flank shortly after TACE for treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. Biopsy revealed intravascular tan to yellow amorphous spherical structures within the dermis, confirming the presence of foreign material within these vessels. The authors review the literature and discuss previous cases of skin lesions manifesting after TACE, as well as potential factors influencing the probability of cutaneous complications. Histopathologic findings described in similar cases are presented. Prophylactic measures and attempted treatments to reduce likelihood of long-term injury are also reviewed. An awareness that cutaneous injury is a rare, but potential complication of transcatheter arterial embolization, as well as an understanding of management options is important for any provider using this procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e25-e27
JournalAmerican Journal of Dermatopathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • cutaneous complication
  • retiform purpura
  • transcatheter arterial chemoembolization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Dermatology


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