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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2006 June;141(3):279-81

Copyright © 2006 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

In vivo nifedipine-induced acantholysis

Rossiello L. 1, Ruocco E. 1, Mignogna M. D. 2, Baroni A. 1, Lo Schiavo A. 1

1 Department of Dermatology Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy 2 Unit of Oral Medicine Department of Odontostomatological and Maxillofacial Sciences Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy


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Acantholytic changes may be induced in vivo and in vitro by a growing list of drugs. Nifedipine (a widely used antihypertensive drug acting as a calcium channel blocker) seems to have an acantholytic effect in vitro. We report a case of a 74-year-old man, affected with intermediate basal cell carcinoma of his right clavicular area, in whom the histologic examination showed suprabasal acantholytic clefts in the perilesional epidermis. The patient’s history revealed only a mild arterial hypertension that had been treated with 10 mg nifedipine for 10 years. Long-term administration of nifedipine, the absence of fixed intercellular antibodies by direct immunofluorescence (DIF) and circulating anti-Desmoglein-1 and anti-Desmoglein-3 (anti-Dsg 1-3) autoantibodies by ELISA, the lacking of any blisters or erosive lesions, and the histologic findings suggest a diagnosis of in vivo nifedipine-induced acantholysis.

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