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Skin biopsy in netherton syndrome: a histological review of a large series and new findings


Leclerc-Mercier, Stephanie; Bodemer, Christine; Furio, Laetitia; Hadj-Rabia, Smail; de Peufeilhoux, Laetitia; Weibel, Lisa; Bursztejn, Anne-Claire; Bourrat, Emmanuelle; Ortonne, Nicolas; Molina, Thierry Jo; Hovnanian, Alain; Fraitag, Sylvie (2016). Skin biopsy in netherton syndrome: a histological review of a large series and new findings. American Journal of Dermatopathology, 38(2):83-91.

Abstract

Netherton syndrome (NS) is a severe genetic skin disorder, with often delayed or misleading clinical signs. The histological features of skin biopsies, usually described as a psoriasiform hyperplasia, have only been reported in isolated case reports or small case series. The aim of this study is to define, for the first time, the precise histological pattern of cutaneous lesions, in a large cohort of skin biopsies from confirmed NS patients. The study included 80 consecutive skin biopsies from 67 patients taken between January 1995 and June 2014. All were from confirmed NS patients with either a negative lympho-epithelial Kazal-type-related inhibitor (LEKTI) immunohistochemistry and/or molecular confirmation by identified mutation in SPINK5. In this cohort, the most frequent histological finding was also psoriasiform hyperplasia, but there were additional, less common, or previously unreported findings, including compact parakeratosis with large nuclei, subcorneum or intracorneum splitting, presence of clear cells in the upper epidermis or stratum corneum, dyskeratosis, dermal infiltrate with neutrophils and/or eosinophils, and dilated blood vessels in the superficial dermis. An early confirmation of the diagnosis of NS is essential for improved patient management. Thus, in the situation of a patient with an unknown skin disorder and non specific clinical presentation, the dermatopathologist may now be able to suggest the diagnosis of NS based on these newly reported characteristics. However, LEKTI immunohistochemistry remains the essential diagnostic investigation in cases with misleading or nonspecific histological features and is mandatory for the definitive diagnosis of NS in all patients.

Abstract

Netherton syndrome (NS) is a severe genetic skin disorder, with often delayed or misleading clinical signs. The histological features of skin biopsies, usually described as a psoriasiform hyperplasia, have only been reported in isolated case reports or small case series. The aim of this study is to define, for the first time, the precise histological pattern of cutaneous lesions, in a large cohort of skin biopsies from confirmed NS patients. The study included 80 consecutive skin biopsies from 67 patients taken between January 1995 and June 2014. All were from confirmed NS patients with either a negative lympho-epithelial Kazal-type-related inhibitor (LEKTI) immunohistochemistry and/or molecular confirmation by identified mutation in SPINK5. In this cohort, the most frequent histological finding was also psoriasiform hyperplasia, but there were additional, less common, or previously unreported findings, including compact parakeratosis with large nuclei, subcorneum or intracorneum splitting, presence of clear cells in the upper epidermis or stratum corneum, dyskeratosis, dermal infiltrate with neutrophils and/or eosinophils, and dilated blood vessels in the superficial dermis. An early confirmation of the diagnosis of NS is essential for improved patient management. Thus, in the situation of a patient with an unknown skin disorder and non specific clinical presentation, the dermatopathologist may now be able to suggest the diagnosis of NS based on these newly reported characteristics. However, LEKTI immunohistochemistry remains the essential diagnostic investigation in cases with misleading or nonspecific histological features and is mandatory for the definitive diagnosis of NS in all patients.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Dermatology Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:February 2016
Deposited On:08 Dec 2016 14:02
Last Modified:01 Mar 2017 01:01
Publisher:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
ISSN:0193-1091
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1097/DAD.0000000000000425
PubMed ID:26825155

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