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Panniculitis in Juvenile Dermatomyositis


Address correspondence to Fred E. Ghali, M.D., Department of Dermatology, University of North Carolina Hospital, Thurston Bowles Bldg., Suite 3100, Chapel Hill, NC 27599.


Abstract: Panniculitis is a rarely reported clinical finding in dermatomyositis. We present a 14-year-old African American boy with a 4-year history of dermatomyositis referred for evaluation of tender, indurated plaques and nodules on the trunk and proximal extremities. A biopsy specimen revealed epidermal and dermal changes consistent with dermatomyositis. Although calcification was absent, a striking lobular panniculitis was observed. A total of seven cases of clinical panniculitis in association with dermatomyositis have been published. As in our patient, it typically presents as indurated, tender plaques and nodules on the arms, thighs, and buttocks. Although in the vast majority of cases panniculitis found in association with dermatomyositis is subclinical and represents an incidental histopathologic finding, the case we present further emphasizes the need to recognize panniculitis as a rare, but clinically relevant pathologic feature seen in certain lesions of juvenile dermatomyositis.

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