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A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2015 February;150(1):87-94

language: English

Chronic localized leukocytoclastic vasculitis: clinicopathological spectrum of granuloma faciale with and without extrafacial and mucosal involvement

Vassallo C. 1, Derlino F. 1, Croci G. A. 2, Brazzelli V. 1, Borroni G. 1

1 Dermatology Unit, Department of Medical, Surgical Diagnostic and Pediatric Science, University of Pavia, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy;
2 Department of Molecular Medicine, Section of Pathology, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy


Granuloma faciale (GF) is a rare cutaneous condition of unknown origin, that usually presents as one or more brown-purple papules, plaques and/or nodules, localized mostly on the face, although extrafacial lesions can also occur. Eosinophilic angiocentric fibrosis (EAF) is regarded as the mucosal counterpart of GF. Histologically, it has been described as a persistent leukocytoclastic vasculitis, with a dense polymorphous inflammatory infiltrate in the superficial and mid dermis, typically sparing the subpapillary dermis, the so called grenz zone. The presence of eosinophils is considered a characteristic feature of the disease. All the cases of GF seen at the Dermatology Unit from 2002 to 2013 were considered and reviewed, both clinically and histopathologically. Only cases with consistent clinical findings of GF, and accurate patient’s history were considered. Ten cases of GF were reviewed for both histological specificity and clinico-pathological correlation. Two patients presented extrafacial lesions. One patient had involvement of nasal mucosa. Two patients suffered from associated rheumatological diseases. The most frequent histopathologic features were the presence of a grenz zone and eosinophils in the infiltrate, but also adnexal involvement was often present; vascular changes were constant, yet leukocytoclastic vasculitis could be recorded only in four cases. Fibrosis or sclerosis were always absent. Clinical pictures of the patients treated demonstrated a complete remission of the lesions, without scarring. However, a complete enduring healing was observed only in two patients, and relapse or incomplete remission of the disease was the rule. In conclusion a review of clinicopathological findings of ten patients affected by GF was made and new details of the disease presented.

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