Diseases & Conditions


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Erythromelalgia


Synonyms of Erythromelalgia
  • Erythermalgia
  • Gerhardt Disease
  • Mitchell Disease
  • Weir-Mitchell Disease

Disorder Subdivisions

  • Primary Erythromelalgia, Familial
  • Secondary Erythromelalgia


General Discussion
Erythromelalgia is a rare condition that primarily affects the feet and, less commonly, the hands (extremities). It is characterized by intense, burning pain of affected extremities, severe redness (erythema), and increased skin temperature that may be episodic or almost continuous in nature. (The prefix erythro- denotes redness, mel- is a combining form meaning limb or limbs, and the suffix -algia indicates pain.) Although erythromelalgia typically affects both sides of the body (bilateral), it may sometimes involve only one side (unilateral). In addition, the disease course may be extremely variable from case to case. For example, in some individuals, symptom onset may be gradual (insidious), with the condition potentially remaining relatively mild for years. However, in others, it may have a sudden (acute) onset, possibly spreading and becoming severe over weeks.

The specific underlying cause of erythromelalgia remains unknown. However, the condition is thought to result from vasomotor abnormalities or dysfunction in the normal narrowing (constriction) and widening (dilation) of the diameter (caliber) of certain blood vessels, leading to abnormalities of blood flow to the extremities. Erythromelalgia may be an isolated, primary condition or occur secondary to various underlying disorders. Primary erythromelalgia may appear to occur randomly for unknown reasons (sporadically) or may be familial, suggesting autosomal dominant inheritance.

Organizations related to Erythromelalgia
  • Erythromelalgia Association
    200 Old Castle Lane
    Wallingford PA 19086
    Phone #: 610-566-0797
    800 #: --
    e-mail: memberservices@erythromelalgia.org
    Home page: http://www.erythromelalgia.org
  • NIH/National Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Information Clearinghouse
    1 AMS Circle
    Bethesda MD 20892-3675
    Phone #: 301-495-4484
    800 #: 877-226-4267
    e-mail: NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov
    Home page: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info



For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html