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Cholesterol emboli syndrome

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

The cholesterol emboli syndrome is a multi-system disease which may complicate:

  • arteriography
  • thrombolysis
  • anticoagulation
  • vascular surgery

The characteristic clinical triad is:

  • livedo reticularis
  • renal failure
  • eosinophilia

Multiple treatment regimens have been generally unsuccessful in altering the course of the disease process. The most significant impact on the disease can be made by its prevention

  • thrombolytic and anticoagulant treatments are not indicated and only supportive care for such symptoms as hypertension, ulceration, and gangrene is advocated
  • prognosis depends on the extent of the systemic disease and a high rate of mortality (75–80%) is recorded due to multifactorial, cardiac, and renal aetiologies
  • prognosis is poor with high mortality and the treatment is only supportive


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