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Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis: an electron microscopy study

Authors

  • M. Kakepis,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Dermatology, ‘Henry Dunant’ Hospital, Athens, Greece
    2. 2nd Department of Dermatology and Venereology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, ‘Attikon’ General University Hospital, Athens, Greece
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  • S. Havaki,

    1. Department of Histology and Embryology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece
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  • A. Katoulis,

    1. 2nd Department of Dermatology and Venereology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, ‘Attikon’ General University Hospital, Athens, Greece
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  • A. Katsambas,

    1. 1st Department of Dermatology and Venereology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, ‘Andreas Syggros’ Hospital, Athens, Greece
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  • N. Stavrianeas,

    1. 2nd Department of Dermatology and Venereology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, ‘Attikon’ General University Hospital, Athens, Greece
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  • T.G. Troupis

    1. Department of Anatomy, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece
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  • Conflicts of interest

    The authors declare no relevant conflict of interest, pertaining to this manuscript.

  • Funding sources

    None.

Abstract

Background

Few published data, concerning the electron microscopy findings of idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis have been published so far.

Objectives

To reveal the electron microscopic findings of idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis and their aetiopathogenetic associations.

Methods

Punch biopsy specimens from four patients with idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis, after being properly processed, were observed under the electron microscope.

Results

In the epidermis, melanocytes and melanosomes were normal in structure. In some areas, there was a reduced uptake of melanosomes by the keratinocytes. In the dermis, fibroblasts were structurally normal. Also, most elastic and collagen fibres were normal, but there were focal elastotic changes.

Conclusions

No significant structural abnormality of the melanocytes was observed, but rather a functional defect in the transfer of melanosomes from the melanocytes to the keratinocytes.

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