Childhood Phimosis Secondary to Lichen Sclerosus: Is There a Spatial Pattern of Histopathological Changes?

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The accurate histopathological diagnosis of the phimotic prepuce is indispensable because early diagnosis, treatment, and close follow-up are crucial in genital dermatosis such as lichen sclerosus (LS). This study analyzes the histopathological spectrum of childhood phimosis with special emphasis on LS. We also highlight a peculiar pattern of histopathological evolution in LS, prepuce.

Material and methods:

The histopathology slides of all the pediatric preputial circumcision specimens performed for the indication of pathological phimosis (n = 43) during the study period (2012–2017) were analyzed. Eight histopathological features viz. hyperkeratosis, hypergranulosis, epidermal atrophy, acanthosis, dermoepidermal cleft, upper dermal edema and homogenization, mid dermal lymphocytic band, and interface dermatitis were studied in each case, separately in inner preputial surface, tip, and outer preputial surface. On the basis of evolution of the disease and histopathological features, the lesions of LS were classified into early, established, and advanced.


LS was found in 32 cases, whereas 11 cases showed nonspecific inflammation and fibrosis. The upper dermal homogenization (n = 29), dermoepidermal cleft (n = 28), and mid dermal band (n = 27) were the commonest histopathological changes. The established and advanced changes were confined to the inner preputial surface (n = 31), and the outer preputial skin surface was unaffected in all the cases. A peculiar histopathological evolution pattern was seen with established or advanced lesions, early lesion, and normal histology on the inner preputial surface, mucocutaneous junction, and outer preputial skin, respectively.


LS is a common cause of childhood phimosis. It shows a peculiar histopathological evolution that mandates the thorough analysis of inner mucosal surface.

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