Pyoderma gangrenosum: a challenge to the rheumatologist

Pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) is a necrotizing neutrophilic dermatosis, a condition with polymorphonuclear infiltrates, which is non-infective, non neoplastic and has no primary vasculitis. It may be idiopathic or associated with a systemic disorder. It is characterized by painful ulcers with undermined edge, of variable depth and size. The legs are most commonly affected but other parts of the skin and mucous membranes may also be involved. The course can be mild or malignant, chronic or relapsing, and has a remarkable morbidity. The pathogenesis is unknown. In 50 to 70% of the patients, PG is associated with underlying systemic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, myeloproliferative disorders, hematological or malignancies; it can appear in isolated form. This is a report of two patients with PG and arthritis which intends to show the importance, for rheumatologists, of considering this dermatosis, since articular complaints are present in 37% of the PG patients.

pyoderma gangrenosum; arthritis; skin ulcer


Sociedade Brasileira de Reumatologia Av Brigadeiro Luiz Antonio, 2466 - Cj 93., 01402-000 São Paulo - SP, Tel./Fax: 55 11 3289 7165 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: sbre@terra.com.br