Clinicopathologic and immunophenotypic features of eosinophilic fasciitis and morphea profunda: A comparative study of 27 cases

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Abstract

Background:

Eosinophilic fasciitis (EF) and morphea profunda (MP) are inflammatory and sclerosing disorders of the subcutis that can exhibit clinical and pathologic presentations that overlap.

Objective:

To identify clinicopathologic features that can be used to distinguish EF from MP.

Methods:

We performed a retrospective review of 16 patients with EF and 11 patients with MP. Hematoxylin-eosin, CD123, CD34, and Verhoeff-Van Gieson stains were evaluated on skin biopsies that included the fascia.

Results:

EF patients were more likely than MP patients to be men (P = .047), have forearm involvement (P = .003), and have peripheral eosinophilia (P < .01). Compared with MP patients, patients with EF were more likely to have fascia that contained eosinophils (P = .003), although eosinophils were absent in 3 (19%) patients with EF. Focal absence of CD34 staining was more prominent in the fascia of EF patients (P = .04). The extent of Verhoeff-Van Gieson staining did not differ between the 2 groups. Dermal sclerosis was not detected in many cases of EF and MP (56% and 36%, respectively).

Limitations:

This was a retrospective study at a single institution.

Conclusion:

Although EF and MP share clinical and pathologic features, our results indicate that the presence of eosinophils in the blood and fascia and focal loss of CD34 staining might be more suggestive of EF than MP.

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