Fibrous cephalic plaques in tuberous sclerosis complex

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Abstract

Background:

Fibrous cephalic plaques (FCPs) stereotypically develop on the forehead of patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). They constitute a major feature for TSC diagnosis and may present before other TSC-related cutaneous hamartomas.

Objective:

To describe the clinical characteristics of FCPs in TSC.

Methods:

A total of 113 patients with TSC were enrolled in an observational cohort study. Retrospective analysis of medical records and skin photography was performed. FCPs were categorized by anatomic location and size.

Results:

FCPs were observed in 36% of patients (41 of 113). Of 62 total lesions, 58% were 1 to less than 5 cm, 13% were 5 cm or larger, and 29% were of unknown size mostly because of prior excision. The distribution of lesions was 39% on the forehead, 27% on the face (nonforehead), 3% on the neck, and 31% on the scalp. Fourteen patients had similar lesions less than 1 cm in diameter. Histopathologically, FCPs displayed dermal collagenosis, decreased elastic fibers, and features of angiofibromas or fibrofolliculomas.

Limitations:

Men were under-represented because the cohort was enriched for patients with TSC with lymphangioleiomyomatosis, which occurs in adult women.

Conclusion:

Two-fifths of FCPs presented on the forehead, with most of the remainder in other locations on the face and scalp. Better recognition of these lesions may lead to earlier diagnosis of TSC.

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