#dermpathJC December 2019:
Thursday, December 5th, 9 pm EST
Article discussed: Dermatologic Urgencies and Emergencies: What Every Pathologist Should Know
Authors: Mallory S. Abate, MD; Laura R. Battle, MD; Ashley N. Emerson, MD; Jerad M. Gardner, MD; Sara C. Shalin, MD, PhD
Open access courtesy of Archives of Pathology at: https://www.archivesofpathology.org/doi/10.5858/arpa.2018-0239-RA
Summary prepared by: Mitul B. Modi, MBBS, MD (@MitulModiMD)
Journal club summary:
Dermatologic diseases with high morbidity can occur in the inpatient setting. In these circumstances, bedside skin biopsy, although challenging could be the most important guiding tool for accurate assessment, especially for pathologists not experts in dermatopathology. This unique review represents a collaborative opinion from both dermatology and a dermatopathology view.
Herein, with this article authors are providing a reference guide on dermatologic urgencies and emergencies, focusing on diagnostic pearls, pitfalls, and commonly encountered practice scenarios. The key diseases focused in this article are angioinvasive fungal infections, Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis, staph-scalded-skin syndrome, acute graft-versus-host disease, bullous pemphigoid, calciphylaxis, Sweet syndrome and its histiocytoid variant, pyoderma gangrenosum, and leukocytoclastic vasculitis, as well as those in their clinical and histopathologic differential.
|ANGIOINVASIVE FUNGAL INFECTIONS|
- Rapidly progressive in immunosuppressed or trauma patients with high mortality.
- Hematoxylin-eosin (H&E) reveals fungal hyphae in the dermis and/or vessels +/− epidermal and/or dermal necrosis.
- Periodic acid–Schiff (PAS) or Gomori methenamine silver (GMS) is performed in all suspicious cases.
- Speciation cannot be performed based on histopathology alone.
|STEVENS-JOHNSON SYNDROME/TOXIC EPIDERMAL NECROLYSIS|
High-yield points for SJS and TEN:
- Life-threatening skin disorder with full-thickness epidermal sloughing of the skin and mucous membranes.
- First step in treatment is immediate identification and withdrawal of causative drug.
- Can mimic erythema multiforme (EM) histologically, requiring clinical differentiation.
- Differentiated from SSSS both clinically and histologically because of the more superficial level of blistering in SSSS.
|ACUTE GRAFT-VERSUS-HOST DISEASE|
High-yield points for aGVHD:
- Nonspecific morbilliform eruption in HSCT patients.
- Hematoxylin-eosin reveals vacuolar interface dermatitis.
- In early stages it can be histologically indistinguishable from other common rashes like viral exanthems or drug eruptions in the posttransplant period.
High-yield points for BP:
- Subepidermal blistering disease most commonly seen in the elderly.
- Characterized by tense bullae clinically, which correlate to cleavage along the basement membrane zone histologically.
- Definitive diagnosis is made by immunofluorescence studies.
High-yield points for calciphylaxis:
- Tissue ischemia that develops as a serious complication in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) on dialysis.
- Hematoxylin-eosin reveals thrombotic vasculopathy in small (often subcuticular) vessels, with basophilic calcium deposits in the deep dermis and subcutis, associated inflammation, and/or tissue necrosis.
- Von Kossa or alizarin red should be performed in all suspicious cases.
|SWEET SYNDROME (ACUTE FEBRILE NEUTROPHILIC DERMATOSIS)|
High-yield points for Sweet syndrome:
- Erythematous “juicy” papules on the head, neck, and upper extremities.
- May be associated with underlying malignancy, infection, or medications.
- Hematoxylin-eosin reveals marked papillary dermal edema with abundant neutrophils.
- Despite clinical presentation and histopathology that may suggest an infectious etiology, all infectious workup will be negative.
- Excellent response to corticosteroids.
- A diagnosis of histiocytoid Sweet syndrome should be made with caution and leukemia cutis must be excluded.
HISTIOCYTOID SWEET SYNDROME
High-yield points for Histiocytoid Sweet syndrome:
- Indistinguishable from classic Sweet syndrome clinically
- histiocytoid Sweet syndrome is histologically distinct and characterized by an infiltrate of mononuclear cells that have a histiocytic appearance;
- histologically mimicker of leukemia cutis
High-yield points for PG include the following:
- A “neutrophilic dermatosis” that presents with rapidly progressive skin ulcerations.
- Commonly misdiagnosed, which can result in devastating tissue loss.
- Histology is nonspecific and the inflammatory infiltrate can vary with location of biopsy and duration of lesion.
- Infection by bacteria, fungi, or acid-fast bacteria must be excluded by either special stains, microbial cultures, molecular techniques, or a combination of these.
|CUTANEOUS LEUKOCYTOCLASTIC VASCULITIS|
High-yield points for cutaneous LCV include the following:
- Represents a distinct histologic inflammatory pattern affecting small vessels of the dermis.
- Corresponds to the clinical diagnosis of cutaneous small vessel necrotizing vasculitis and classically manifests as palpable purpura.
- Can be seen in a variety of primary vasculitic dermatoses or as a secondary finding in nonvasculitic dermatoses; clinicopathologic correlation is required.
- This article has highlighted the pivotal role that pathologists/dermatopathologists play in dermatologic urgencies and emergencies. This, in turn, can be helpful in providing accurate histologic diagnoses with improved patient care in a timely manner.
- This review thus serves as a practical reference guide for any pathologist while working up a rush inpatient skin biopsy. In emergency cases and scenarios, an initial discussion and an open line of communication between a dermatologist with the pathologist is important for providing a histologic diagnosis in a timely manner.
- As soon as the slides have been processed, it is helpful to hear the pathologist’s initial impression of the biopsy as well as of any positive, negative, and pending stains. This way of continued conversation with the dermatologist can help narrow the differential diagnosis and ultimately help the pathologist/dermatopathologist to arrive at the diagnosis.
- The takeaway point from this article is that a systemic and collaborative approach yields the best patient outcome, instead of panicking while coming across dermatologic emergencies and urgencies.
Thank you so much for attending #DermpathJC and for reading this summary.
Hope you enjoyed the energy of this journal club,
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Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!