Facial purpura

Andrew C. Goldman, Satish Govindaraj, Ramon A. Franco, Jessica Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objectives: Patients with facial purpura can have acute and dramatic illnesses. For this reason, the clinician must be aware of certain diagnoses that can present as facial purpura and know how to initiate treatment efficiently. According to our review of the literature, no paradigm currently exists for the diagnosis and management of facial purpura. Our goal is to develop a schema for the identification and management of facial purpura. Study Design: Case series. Methods: A case series of five cases is presented followed by a systematic development of a differential diagnosis based on etiology of the lesion. Results: Facial purpura can be classified into conditions that are primarily or secondarily vasculitic, thrombocytopenic, neoplastic, infectious, toxic, and miscellaneous, which encompasses episodic reports that do not fit into the other categories. A paradigm to diagnose patients with facial purpura is developed based on clinical presentation and etiology. To demonstrate the utility of our algorithm, the five cases presented are re-examined using the algorithm. To our knowledge, this represents the first reported series of facial purpura in the modern English literature. A flow chart based on our diagnostic paradigm is presented. Conclusion: Clinicians caring for patients with facial purpura must recognize the acute conditions that require emergent medical intervention. Once these diagnoses have been considered, the clinician can employ a systematic approach to the diagnosis based on etiology. This study provides a useful reference for the otolaryngologist when encountering a patient with facial purpura.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-212
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Differential diagnosis
  • Face
  • Paradigm
  • Purpura
  • Purpura fulminans


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