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International Angiology 2021 February;40(1):18-22

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-9590.20.04450-8


language: English

Body dysmorphic disorder in patients with telangiectasias

Javier A. BRAVO 1, Sebastián CIFUENTES 1, Jorge H. ULLOA 2 , Lowell KABNICK 3, Alejandro PEDRAZZOLI 4, Carlos SIMKIN 5, Julian JAVIER 6, Fabricio SANTIAGO 7

1 University of Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia; 2 Division of Vascular Surgery, Santa Fe de Bogota Foundation, University of Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia; 3 Division of Vascular Surgery, Atlantic Health System, Morristown Medical Center, Morristown, NJ, USA; 4 Division of Vascular Surgery, Pedrazzoli Center, Cordoba, Argentina; 5 Division of Vascular Surgery, Pedro Fiorito Hospital, Buenos Aires, Argentina; 6 Department of Interventional Cardiology, Naples Cardiac and Endovascular Center, Naples, FL, USA; 7 Division of Vascular Surgery, Institute of Venous and Lymphatic Diseases, Goiânia, Brasil

BACKGROUND: Chronic venous disease (CVD) patients can present with a spectrum of clinical manifestations ranging from severe ulcerations, thrombosis, and varicose vein hemorrhage to milder ones such as telangiectasias. Some CVD patients have a minimal degree of telangiectasias that are almost invisible to the physician. In spite of successful treatment of these telangiectasias, there are patients that might insist on continuing treatment, focusing excessive attention on what they perceive to be persistent telangiectasias that, in their opinion, must be removed. In these cases, one might be facing a possible body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) diagnosis.
METHODS: This is a multicentric study performed in 223 patients with telangiectasias (C1s) seeking treatment; the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Questionnaire (BDDQ) was answered in private by all the patients. Furthermore, each questionnaire was evaluated in accordance with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) criteria for BDD.
RESULTS: From a consecutive sample of 223 patients, 38 patients had criteria for BDD according to the DSM-V; indicating that the prevalence of BDD in patients with telangiectasias is 17%.
CONCLUSIONS: Telangiectasias can be a stress trigger that changes the way patients perceive their own appearance. BDD patients tend to focus their attention excessively upon these types of veins and demand unnecessary treatment for minimal telangiectasias in order to diminish their discomfort with their physical appearance. Body dysmorphic disorder occurs in patients with limbs with C1s disease in considerable proportion and, upon evaluation, these patients should be referred to a psychiatrist. The initiation of any treatment for telangiectasias prior to the psychiatric assessment should be avoided.

KEY WORDS: Body dysmorphic disorders; Telangiectasis; Varicose veins

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