Background: Hydroxyurea is an antineoplastic agent commonly used to treat myeloproliferative disorders and other nonneoplastic conditions.
Objective: To further define the typical features of hydroxyurea-related cutaneous ulcers of the leg.
Design: Retrospective, descriptive study of the medical records of patients who developed leg ulcers while receiving hydroxyurea therapy.
Setting: A tertiary care medical center.
Patients: Patients with myeloproliferative disorders who were treated with hydroxyurea.
Results: 14 patients with extremely painful leg ulcers were identified. The most common ulcer site was the malleoli. Multiple ulcers were seen in 64% of patients. Patients had received hydroxyurea for an average of 6 years before ulcers developed. All ulcers healed after discontinuation of hydroxyurea treatment, and 2 patients developed ulcers after treatment was restarted.
Conclusion: Hydroxyurea induces painful leg ulcers that are usually difficult to treat and require cessation of hydroxyurea therapy.