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Neutrophilic Figurate Erythema

Wu, Yu-Hung MD*,†,‡; Hsiao, Pa-Fan MD, MSc*,†,‡

The American Journal of Dermatopathology: May 2017 - Volume 39 - Issue 5 - p 344–350
doi: 10.1097/DAD.0000000000000723
Original Study

Abstract: Neutrophilic figurate erythema (NFE) has been rarely reported. This study aimed to identify the clinical and pathological features of NFE. We retrospectively reviewed the information from diagnostic cases from 2000 to 2013. The diagnosis of NFE includes clinically annular rash, histopathologically predominant neutrophilic perivascular and interstitial infiltrate in the dermis without evidence of vasculitis, and exclusion of other known specific entities. Fifteen cases of NFE were identified, including 11 women and 4 men. The age distribution was 18–66 years (average 41). The major characteristic patterns in NFE were blistering annular erythema (5/15 patients), purpuric annular erythema with vesicles (4/15 patients), and multiple annular rash with central ring-shaped scales (4/15 patients). There was no specific predicted location and no association with a major systemic disease. Papillary dermal edema and mild-to-moderate leukocytoclasis in the upper dermis are the main histopathological features. Ten of the 15 patients had recurrent episodes. Two patients who had single episode were associated with drug reaction. Antineutrophil therapy was required to control the symptoms in 3 patients. NFE has a similar clinical course as erythema annulare centrifugum but has distinct features that can be recognized clinically. The pathologists should be aware of the entity when making the diagnosis of neutrophil-mediated inflammatory disorders. The treatment regimen for neutrophilic dermatoses may be needed to manage the skin lesions.

*Department of Medicine, MacKay Medical College, New Taipei City, Taiwan;

Department of Dermatology, MacKay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; and

Department of Cosmetic Applications and Management, MacKay Medicine, Nursing and Management College, Taipei, Taiwan.

Reprints: Yu-Hung Wu, MD, Department of Dermatology, MacKay Memorial Hospital, 92, Sec 2, Zhong-Shan North Road, Taipei 10449, Taiwan (e-mail:

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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