Role of dermal melanocytes in cutaneous pigmentation of stasis dermatitis: a histopathological study of 20 cases.
Kim, D; Kang, WH
Journal of Korean medical science, 17(5):648-654, 2002
Journal of Korean medical science
Stasis dermatitis is an itchy, scaly, and hyperpigmented condition of the lower leg due to venous insufficiency. Hemosiderin and/or melanin have been considered responsible for the brown pigmentation. However, there are not sufficient histopathologic studies. In this retrospective study the hospital records and biopsy slides of 20 patients were reviewed to determine the pathogenetic mechanisms of brown pigmentation in stasis dermatitis. Fifteen were men (75%) and 5 were women (25%) with a mean age of 46.2+/-8.2 yr (18-76), mean age at onset of 43.4+/-18.0 yr (17-73), and a mean duration of the disease 2.8+/-2.5 yr (0.25-10). All patients had varicose vein and complained of pruritus. On histopathologic evaluation, two cases out of 20 (3 skin biopsy specimens from 25 samples) showed dermal melanocytes containing melanin, and incontinence of melanin pigment was observed in 5 cases, which indicates that melanin pigments from epidermis could contribute to cutaneous pigmentation in stasis dermatitis. However, the existence of dermal melanocytes in two cases cannot be explained because normally the dermis contains no melanocytes. Further studies concerning the role of iron or inflammatory cytokines on the development of dermal melanocytes should be conducted.
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