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GIORNALE ITALIANO DI DERMATOLOGIA E VENEREOLOGIA

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 2017 Dec 15

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-0488.17.05839-4

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Histopathological aspects of psoriasis and its uncommon variants

Caterina FERRELI 1 , Anna L. PINNA 1, Luca PILLONI 2, Carlo F. TOMASINI 3, Franco RONGIOLETTI 1

1 Section of Dermatology, Department of Medical Science and Public Health, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy; 2 Section of Pathology, Department of Surgery, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy; 3 Section of Dermatology, Department of Medical Science and Infectious Diseases, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy


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Psoriasis is a chronic complex multisystem, inflammatory, skin disorder that causes vasodilatation and hyperproliferation of keratinocytes, whose clinical expression includes a thickened, erythematous skin, often covered with silver grey scales. Psoriasis is a unique disease where both autoimmune and autoinflammatory responses coexist and the balance between the two components is essential in determining its clinical and histopathological presentation. Adaptive immune responses prevail in chronic plaque psoriasis while innate and autoinflammatory responses predominate in pustular psoriasis. The histopathology of psoriasis is easily recognizable when the disease involves the typical sites such as the extensor surfaces. Although a biopsy is rarely required in case of classic psoriasis, in atypical and controversial conditions, histopathological examination remains the main diagnostic tool that can help in differentiating psoriasis from other dermatoses. In this review, we will discuss the histopathological pictures of the different clinical variants of psoriasis giving some clues to drive the correct diagnosis when the clinical aspects are not enough indicative of the disease.


KEY WORDS: Psoriasis - Histopathology - Epidermal hyperplasia - Inflammation

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Publication History

Article first published online: December 15, 2017
Manuscript accepted: November 30, 2017
Manuscript received: October 31, 2017

Cite this article as

Ferreli C, Pinna AL, Pilloni L, Tomasini CF, Rongioletti F. Histopathological aspects of psoriasis and its uncommon variants. G Ital Dermatol Venereol 2017 Dec 15. DOI: 10.23736/S0392-0488.17.05839-4

Corresponding author e-mail

ferreli@unica.it