Malignant blue nevus of the scalp.
Calista D. Schianchi S. Landi C.
Department of Dermatology, M. Bufalini Hospital, Cesena, Italy.
A 70-year-old woman had noticed, at the age of 30, a single blue nodule of about 1 cm in size on her scalp. The lesion remained stable until 1991, when it became larger and ulcerated and, because of the sudden onset of additional macules and nodules around it, the patient presented at our Dermatological Division in August 1992. Physical examination showed a blue-black plaque, 2 x 2 cm in size, on the left parietal area of the scalp, surrounded by several blue-grey pigmented nodules and macules (Fig. 1). Chest X-ray, abdomen scan, and a total body computed tomography (CT) scan were negative for metastatic disease. A wide resection of the scalp lesion was performed. The histologic evaluation revealed a dense collection of spindled melanocytes in the dermis and in the subcutaneous fat. Nuclear and cytoplasmic pleomorphism, some mitotic figures, and necrosis foci were present (Figs 2 and 3). Pictures of cellular blue nevus were found in the surrounding lesions. Ten months later, new blue macular and papular lesions appeared in proximity to the surgical scar. The patient refused any additional surgery, and so was treated with dacarbazine (DTIC) 800 mg intravenously (every 20 days) and 2 alpha interferon (3 million units subcutaneously, three times weekly). The growth of the lesions slowed down for a few weeks, and then increased again to become a wide, blue-black vegetating mass (Fig. 4). In June 1995, a total body CT scan revealed multiple focal nodules on the lungs and two metastatic masses on the eighth segment of the liver. A palliative polychemotherapy, with vindesin 3 mg/m2 and DTIC 400 mg/m2, was started, but did not stop the progression of the disease, and the patient died in December 1996.
Immunoperoxidase evaluation of lichen planus biopsies for hepatitis C virus.
Boyd AS. Nanney LB. King LE Jr.
Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
BACKGROUND: Lichen planus is a papulosquamous dermatosis which has recently been linked to infection with hepatitis C virus. It is unclear whether or not viral antigens may be present in the cutaneous lesions of lichen planus. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-five paraffin-embedded samples of glabrous lichen planus were evaluated using immunoperoxidase staining for the presence of hepatitis C virions. Control tissues consisted of hepatitis C-infected hepatic tissue (n = 2), normal hepatic tissue (n = 2), normal human skin (n = 1), and two cutaneous biopsies of lichen planus from persons known to be infected with hepatitis C. RESULTS: The sections of hepatitis C-infected liver tissue stained positive for hepatitis C virions. The 25 biopsies of glabrous lichen planus, the two biopsies of lichen planus from hepatitis C patients, the two sections of normal liver, and the one normal skin sample all failed to take up the stain. CONCLUSIONS: Cutaneous lesions of lichen planus are more probably reactive to the underlying infection than a manifestation of skin involvement by this disease. This theory is supported by the histologic findings in a lichenoid drug eruption, which are virtually identical to those of idiopathic lichen planus. Insufficient sensitivity by the immunoperoxidase procedure used is a possible explanation for our results; however, it appears more probable that no virus exists at the sites of cutaneous involvement.