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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Radiation induced lichen planus - an uncommon side effect

  • Author(s): Hadian, Yasmin
  • Chen, Yi-Chun
  • Eastham, David V
  • Schulman, Joshua M
  • Sood, Apra
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license

Cutaneous lichen planus is classically characterized by violaceous, pruritic, planar papules and plaques, most commonly affecting the extremities. Lichen planus following radiation therapy is extremely rare and lichen planus following radiation therapy for prostate carcinoma has not been previously reported in the literature. We report a 66-year-old man who presented to the dermatology clinic with a symmetric pruritic eruption affecting the pelvic and gluteal region within two months of radiation therapy targeting the prostate and pelvic lymph nodes for prostate adenocarcinoma. The patient did not have a prior history of lichen planus. Physical examination demonstrated well demarcated, violaceous papules and plaques in a circumferential band-like distribution on the bilateral gluteal, lumbosacral, and pelvic region. In addition, he had a few discrete lesions on the calves and dorsal feet. Punch biopsy revealed an acanthotic epidermis with "saw-tooth" rete ridges and a lichenoid inflammatory infiltrate. A diagnosis of hypertrophic lichen planus was made, reinforcing the importance for clinicians to recognize radiation therapy as a risk factor for developing lichen planus despite no prior history of lichen planus.

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