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Acquired Cutaneous Lymphangiectasia With Mesothelial Cells Reflux in a Patient With Cirrhotic Ascites

Tomasini, Carlo MD; Butera, Anna Claudia MD; Pippione, Mario MD

The American Journal of Dermatopathology: April 2008 - Volume 30 - Issue 2 - p 140-144
doi: 10.1097/DAD.0b013e31816373ad
Extraordinary Case Report

A previously undescribed case of acquired cutaneous lymphangiectasias on the abdomen in a patient with cirrhotic ascites where peritoneal mesothelial cells refluxed in the skin is discussed. A 56-year-old man previously submitted to liver transplanation presented with vesiculobullous lesions on the developed as his cirrhotic ascites progressed. Histology showed dilated lymphatic channels in the upper dermis lined by a single, discontinuous layer of flattened, monomorphous endothelial cells with endoluminal papillary projections. In the deep reticular dermis, we observed irregular thin- often jagged-walled vascular channels lined by a single layer of bland endothelial cells, dissecting the collagen bundles. Vessels in the lumen were medium to large bizarre-shaped polygonal cells with abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm and hyperchromatic and irregular nuclei, arranged in small clusters or as solitary units, focally in close contact with the endothelial lining or free floating within vessel cavities. Immunohistochemistry indicated atypical intraluminal cells to be positive for calretinin, a specific marker for mesothelial cells. Pathophysiologic mechanisms and problems of differential diagnosis of this unique clinicopathologic entity are discussed.

From the Section of Dermatology, II Clinic, Department of Medical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

Reprints: Carlo Tomasini, MD, Section of Dermatology, II Clinic, Department of Medical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Turin, Via Cherasco, 23 10126 Turin, Italy (e-mail: ctomasini@molinette.piemonte.it).

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.