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Ultrastructural changes in acquired perforating dermatosis

, : Ultrastructural changes in acquired perforating dermatosis. International Journal of Dermatology 31(3): 201-205

We performed ultrastructural studies of skin lesions in seven adults with acquired perforating dermatosis. Three of the patients had diabetes mellitus and two were undergoing hemodialysis. Lesions in an early stage showed exocytosis of inflammatory cells and alteration of elastic fibers. Lesions in an intermediate stage featured discontinuities of the basement membrane and aggregates of electron-dense material lateral to the perforated focus, together with dermal edema, scattered macrophages, and densely aggregated collagen fibers that focally filled the papillary dermis. Later-stage lesions showed fibroblasts in the dermis and degenerated elastic fibers within transepidermal channels. In most cases there was a single large epidermal channel lined by flattened epithelial cells, and containing a variety of cellular and extracellular materials. Small "secondary" channels without abnormal keratinization were also observed within the epidermis. The findings suggest that altered keratinization is limited to the immediate vicinity of well-formed transepidermal channels, and that exocytosis of inflammatory cells and alterations of elastica are early and possibly key changes in lesion development. The unexpected discovery of hair fragments in one case suggests that curled hairs may play a role in the pathogenesis of some cases of acquired perforating dermatosis.


PMID: 1373707

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