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cannabis arteritis

Cannabis arteritis

Affiliation

  • 1 Department of Dermatology, Desgenettes Hospital, 108 Bd Pinel, 69003 Lyon, France. [email protected]
  • PMID: 15656820
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2005.06340.x

Cannabis arteritis

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Authors

Affiliation

  • 1 Department of Dermatology, Desgenettes Hospital, 108 Bd Pinel, 69003 Lyon, France. [email protected]
  • PMID: 15656820
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2005.06340.x

Abstract

The main causes of arteriopathy in young patients include drugs, metabolic diseases, pseudoxanthoma elasticum and Buerger’s disease. Arteritis due to Cannabis indica was first reported in 1960, and the role of this drug as a risk factor for arteritis was confirmed in several subsequent publications. A 38-year-old smoker with no previous contributory medical history except for long-standing cannabis abuse developed a dry necrotic lesion of the left big toe. Imaging examinations revealed proximal arteriopathy of the lower limbs that predominated on the left side. He had no atherogenic or thrombogenic risk factors, and no signs of pseudoxanthoma elasticum were found. Remarkably, the development of arteritis paralleled cannabis abuse. The course was slowly favourable after weaning from the drug, vasodilator treatment and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Despite some subtle clinical differences (more proximal than distal involvement), cannabis arteritis may be considered as a particular form of Buerger’s disease, where cannabis, along with tobacco, seems to cause arterial lesions. Along with the noxious effects of cannabis on vessels, a role for contaminating arsenic is also possible. Cannabis arteritis is not widely known, but may prove not to be so rare if one considers consumption of cannabis besides that of tobacco.

The main causes of arteriopathy in young patients include drugs, metabolic diseases, pseudoxanthoma elasticum and Buerger's disease. Arteritis due to Cannabis indica was first reported in 1960, and the role of this drug as a risk factor for arteritis was confirmed in several subsequent publications. …

Cannabis arteritis: Australian man diagnosed with marijuana-related disease that can cause loss of limb

Man will have to take aspirin as a blood thinner for the rest of his life

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An Australian man who smokes up to a gram of cannabis per day has narrowly escaped amputation after becoming the first in the country to be diagnosed with a rare disease linked to cannabis use.

After an ulcer on his toe failed to heal, the man consulted Frankston Hospital in Melbourne, where he was diagnosed with cannabis arteritis, an extremely rare disease which causes a build-up of plaque around the arteries, thereby decreasing blood flow to the limbs.

The patient, who has not been identified, was treated with a balloon angioplasty, where a collapsed balloon, known as a balloon catheter, is placed in the area which is constricted in order to inflate it to a healthy size.

Where cannabis is and isn’t legal

1 /10 Where cannabis is and isn’t legal

Where cannabis is and isn’t legal

Where cannabis is and isn’t legal

North Korea

MARCEL VAN HOORN/AFP/Getty Images

Where cannabis is and isn’t legal

Netherlands

Where cannabis is and isn’t legal

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Where cannabis is and isn’t legal

Spain

Where cannabis is and isn’t legal

Uruguay

Where cannabis is and isn’t legal

Pakistan

Where cannabis is and isn’t legal

Portugal

Where cannabis is and isn’t legal

Puerto Rico

RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images

Where cannabis is and isn’t legal

China

He will also have to take aspirin, a blood thinner, for the rest of his life, according to reports in the Sunday Morning Herald.

Smoking cannabis can cause blood vessels to tighten, which increases resistance and contributes to an increasing amount of plaque building up around the arteries, thereby narrowing the artery itself.

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Cannabis arteritis occurs when the constriction of arteries reduces blood flow to the affected limbs, which can lead to death of cells, called necrosis. Severe cases of necrosis can lead to necessary amputation.

Very similar symptoms can be seen in patients suffering from Bueger’s disease, which is strongly linked to tobacco use.

Although fewer than 100 cases of the disease have ever been recorded, Dr Soon, of the Royal College of Australasian Surgeons, said medical professionals should still remain alert.

“Due to the increase in cannabis usage and the legalisation of medicinal cannabis, awareness of the condition is important and may become a growing problem in the future,” he told the Annual Scientific Congress.

1 /1 Man treated for cannabis-related disease that can lead to amputation

Man treated for cannabis-related disease that can lead to amputation

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Man will have to take aspirin as a blood thinner for the rest of his life