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Dermatology Online Journal

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Elastolytic giant cell granuloma: clinic-pathologic review of twenty cases


Background: O’Brien described four histopathological patterns of actinic granuloma (AG). Since then, only single cases and a few series have been reported in the literature, most corresponding to cases of the giant cell type.

Methods: We reviewed all the cases diagnosed as AG or elastolytic giant cell granuloma (EGCG) in our department from 1988 until 2010. The biopsies were classified into the four patterns previously described.

Results: Giant cell pattern was found to be the most frequent (70% of the cases). In four cases, the biopsies showed more than one histopathologic pattern. All the lesions were located on sun-exposed areas or were related to chronic heat exposure. Diabetes mellitus was associated in 40 % of the cases.

Conclusions: The giant cell pattern of EGCG is the most frequent. Some cases may share histopathologic features of more than one variant and thus, we consider they may be categorized as mixed patterns. Diabetes mellitus is the most common associated disease and should always be ruled out.

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