The value of histopathological diagnosis in the elderly patients with granulomatous dermatoses. Case series

Vol. 57 No. 2 Suppl., 2016
This supplement was not sponsored by Outside Organizations.


Mihail-Alexandru Badea, Corneliu-Florin Buicu, Anca Ileana Sin, Ovidiu Simion Cotoi, Iudita-Maria Badea, Andreea Luciana Chiotoroiu, Silviu Horia Morariu

Granulomatous inflammations are a particular type of chronic septic or aseptic inflammation, in which infectious or non-infectious agents are difficult to eliminate by the immune system. These are type IV hypersensitivity reactions mediated by pre-sensitized T-lymphocytes cells CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes. Disorders included in this category are: tuberculosis, leprosy, syphilis, sarcoidosis, type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Crohn s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. At cutaneous level, this pattern of granulomatous reaction is characterized by a chronic inflammation with formation of granulomas consisting of a variable number of histiocytes, multinucleated giant cells and lymphocytes. Granulomatous dermatoses should be differentiated from other primary or secondary lesions affecting the skin such as inflammation or tumors. Often granulomatous dermatoses can be confused with other skin disorders, both clinically and histological. Histopathology examination can add important information and clarify the diagnosis. This paper presents a series of three clinical cases of granulomatous skin occurring in the elderly patients confirmed at histology examination. Clinical and histology criteria were analyzed, along with specific differential diagnosis, based on data from the literature.

Corresponding author: Corneliu-Florin Buicu, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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Daciana Elena Branisteanu, Daniel Constantin Branisteanu, Gabriela Stoleriu, Dan Ferariu, Catalina Maria Voicu, Loredana Elena Stoica, Constantin Caruntu, Daniel Boda, Florina Mihaela Filip-Ciubotaru, Andreea Dimitriu, Cezar-Doru Radu

Lichen sclerosus et atrophicus and limited systemic scleroderma (acrosclerosis) are inflammatory skin diseases that ultimately evolve into two distinct modes of atrophic scar formation, but which can easily be confused clinically. They are very rarely associated. The literature has reported cases in which lichen sclerosus was associated with various forms of scleroderma, but often with localized morphea. The characteristic histopathological picture of lichen sclerosus includes a thin epidermis, with orthohyperkeratosis and vascular degeneration in the basal layer, loss of elastic fibers, and band-like inflammatory infiltrate in the papillary dermis, while systemic sclerosis is characterized by excessive deposition of collagen in the dermis, accompanied by reduction in adnexal structures and their entrapment in collagen, and the presence of perivascular lymphocytic inflammatory infiltrate. We present the case of a 40-year-old female patient clinically diagnosed with systemic scleroderma and lichen sclerosus involving the genital mucosa. Physical examination in conjunction with laboratory findings (elevated antinuclear, anti-Scl-70, anti-SSA antibodies and immunogram) induced the supposition of the coexistence of lichen sclerosus and systemic scleroderma, fact confirmed by pathological examination. Systemic therapy with corticosteroids, immunosuppressive and phlebotropic drugs, peripheral vasodilators and other tropic adjuvants and topically potent topical corticosteroids was initiated. The course was favorable under therapy, the hardened skin slightly regaining elasticity, relief of itching and disappearance of lichen sclerosus lesions. Our case reaffirms the uncommon association of these two disorders. The importance of history, physical and laboratory examinations in making a diagnosis of certainty in emphasized.

Corresponding author: Daniel Constantin Branisteanu, Lecturer, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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