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Tumid Lupus Erythematosus

Ruiz, Hiram M.D.; Sánchez, Jorge L. M.D.

The American Journal of Dermatopathology: August 1999 - Volume 21 - Issue 4 - p 356-360

Background: Tumid lupus erythematosus (TLE) is a subtype of discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) whose clinical characteristics rarely have been described in the literature.

Objective: To describe the clinical, histopathologic, and other laboratory findings in tumid lupus erythematosus.

Methods: Clinical and laboratory findings were reviewed in four patients who had been diagnosed with tumid lupus erythematosus by conventional microscopy. The diagnoses were characterized by a superficial and deep perivascular infiltrate of lymphocytes and deposits of mucin in foci in the reticular dermis.

Results: All four patients were young women. Ages ranged from 16 to 39 years (mean 21 years). The lesions consisted of numerous erythematous papules and plaques, some with annular configuration situated in the face and neck, trunk, and upper extremities. All four patients had concurrent lesions of classic DLE, three of them had systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Direct immunofluorescence test results were negative in nonexposed lesional skin of two of the patients.

Conclusion: The clinical findings of concurrent lesions of TLE and classic DLE in the same patient, the presence of lesions of TLE in patients with SLE, and the histologic findings demonstrate that TLE is a distinct manifestation of DLE, and as such, a cutaneous expression of SLE.

From the University of Puerto Rico, School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Jorge L. Sánchez, University of Puerto Rico, School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology, PO Box 365067, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-5067.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.