Dermoscopic features of livedoid vasculopathy

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Abstract

Livedoid vasculopathy (atrophie blanche) is a form of thrombotic vasculopathy. It is characterized by small ulcers that become crusted, and heal after several months to produce white atrophic scars. The most commonly affected sites are the lower legs, in particular the dorsum of the feet and ankles. To date, the dermoscopic features of livedoid vasculopathy have not been clearly described in the literature. In this observational study, we sought to evaluate the dermoscopic patterns of livedoid vasculopathy and determine whether the dermoscopic features are associated with certain histopathological characteristics. We evaluated 9 patients with livedoid vasculopathy by dermoscopy. Skin biopsy specimens were stained with hematoxylin and eosin for histopathologic examination, and dermoscopic features were correlated with histopathological characteristics. In the majority of patients with livedoid vasculopathy, examination with dermoscopy revealed central crusted ulcers or ivory white areas associated with peripheral pigmentation in a reticular pattern. In addition, increased vascular structures including linear and glomerular vessels were found. On histopathological examination, the central ivory white areas correlated with dermal fibrosis, the reticular pigmentation corresponded to epidermal basal layer hyperpigmentation or melanin within melanophages in the dermal papillae, and the vascular structures correlated with dilatation and proliferation of capillaries in the upper dermis. In summary, the most common dermoscopic features of livedoid vasculopathy identified in this study were central crusted ulcers or ivory white scar-like areas associated with peripheral reticular pigmentation and increased vascular structures. The characterization of dermoscopic criteria for livedoid vasculopathy may improve the accuracy in the clinical diagnosis and follow-up of this disease.

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