Background Primary cutaneous amyloidoses are rare in Western countries, but are relatively common in Taiwan. Anosacral cutaneous amyloidosis is a rare type of primary cutaneous amyloidoses, first reported in Japanese patients.
Patients/methods In the present study, we investigated the age of onset, sites of involvement, associated systemic diseases, and histopathological findings in 10 cases of anosacral cutaneous amyloidosis seen during the past 27 years.
Results In previous reports the aetiology of anosacral cutaneous amyloidosis was thought to be a senile change, but half of our patients developed the disease before the age of 60 years. Based on our histopathological findings, apoptosis may be the initial event causing amyloid deposition, although the precise mechanism causing apoptosis needs further investigation. Three patients were found to have diabetes mellitus, but any relationship to anosacral cutaneous amyloidosis is unclear.
Conclusions No cases of this cutaneous disorder have been reported in the Western literature; there seems to be a racial difference accounting for the disease, although the precise factor is not clarified yet. The disease could easily be misdiagnosed as lichen simplex chronicus, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation or tinea cruris; therefore, a thorough history, a careful physical examination and a skin biopsy is needed to establish a firm diagnosis.