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Cutaneous Collagenous Vasculopathy: A New Case Series With Clinicopathologic and Ultrastructural Correlation, Literature Review, and Insight Into the Pathogenesis

Salama, Samih S. MD, FRCPC

The American Journal of Dermatopathology: May 2015 - Volume 37 - Issue 5 - p 368–375
doi: 10.1097/DAD.0000000000000194
Original Study

Abstract: Cutaneous collagenous vasculopathy (CCV) is a rare distinct idiopathic microangiopathy of the superficial cutaneous vasculature. Seven new cases are reported (6 females and 1 male) ranging in age from 42 to 85 years, with some showing unusual clinical and histopathological findings. All presented with macular telangiectases starting on the lower extremities and spreading progressively in 5 cases and were suspected to have generalized essential telangiectasia. Two cases had a history of over 20 years. One case had lesions in the abdominal striae, and 1 was markedly ecchymotic. All skin biopsies showed the characteristic features of CCV with dilatation and marked thickening of the walls of superficial dermal blood vessels displaying reduplication of the basement membrane on periodic acid-Schiff-diastase stain and deposition of hyaline collagenous material immunostaining as collagen type IV, and showing decreased or absent actin staining. However, the changes were subtle and only seen focally in some biopsies. Few lymphoid cells were present around occasional vessels. Electron microscopy showed increased basement membrane lamellae with marked deposition of normal and some abnormal collagen (Luse-like bodies) and focal endothelial damage, suggesting reparative perivascular fibrosis resulting from repeated endothelial injury. These cases (and all 18 previously reported ones) are of a wide age range and no gender predilection. This disorder is underdiagnosed, and it is likely that some cases clinically suspected to be generalized essential telangiectasia may actually represent CCV. Better recognition by dermatologists may lead to more biopsies from patients with generalized telangiectasia and a further understanding of the pathogenesis of CCV and its relationship to other cutaneous vascular disorders.

Department of Pathology (Dermatopathology), St Joseph's Healthcare and McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Reprints: Samih S. Salama, MD, FRCPC, Department of Pathology (Dermatopathology), St Joseph's Healthcare, 50 Charlton Avenue East, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8N 4A6 (e-mail:

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

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