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This is an inherited disorder of connective tissue involving the elastic tissue fibers. There are at least four variants. The classic skin changes usually arise by the second decade and are closely set yellowship papules occurring in the flexural creases especially in the neck and axillae, with decreasing involvement in the groins, periumbilical area, cubital and popliteal fossae, and oral cavity. These skin lesions are wrinkled and thickened and evolve into lax and redundant skin. The characteristic eye changes consist of angioid streaks and choroidoretinitis which may progress to blindness. In tissue sections, the calcium content is greatly increased leading to calcification of the elastic fibers and arteries of the eyes. Other vascular changes may lead to hypertension, cerebrovascular accidents, and gastrointestinal hemorrhage.

The cause is unknown. Cultured fibroblasts from afflicted patients release a proteolytic substance which may damage the elastin in the elastic fibers leading to calcificaiton.

An acquired variant may be several diseases and has been associated with exposure to calcium salts and obese patients, usually multiparous black women. These latter patients may also develop perforation. Unlike the inherited form, there is an absence of extra-cutaneous disease.


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Characterization of pseudoxanthoma elasticum-like lesions in the skin of patients with beta-thalassemia.

Baccarani-Contri M, Bacchelli B, Boraldi F, Quaglino D, Taparelli F, Carnevali E, Francomano MA, Seidenari S, Bettoli V, De Sanctis V, Pasquali-Ronchetti I.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, General Pathology Unit, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2001 Jan;44(1):33-9 Abstract quote

BACKGROUND: Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), an inherited disorder of unknown pathogenesis, is characterized by elastic fiber mineralization, collagen fibril alterations, and accumulation of thread material in the extracellular space. PXE-like clinical lesions have been described in patients with beta-thalassemia.

OBJECTIVE AND METHODS: Dermal lesions in these two genetic disorders were compared by light and electron microscopy and by immunocytochemistry.

RESULTS: In both disorders, elastic fiber polymorphism, fragmentation, and mineralization were structurally identical. Elastic fiber mineralization in beta-thalassemia was associated with vitronectin, bone sialoprotein, and alkaline phosphatase, similar to what was observed in inherited PXE. Furthermore, abnormalities of collagen fibrils and filament aggregates were identical in both disorders. In both inherited and beta-thalassemia-associated PXE, unrelated gene defects seem to induce cell metabolic abnormalities that lead to identical clinical and structural phenotypes.

CONCLUSION: Data indicate that patients with beta-thalassemia may undergo important alterations of connective tissues, a better understanding of which may help in preventing clinical complications.

Evolution of angioid streaks.

Mansour AM, Ansari NH, Shields JA, Annesley WH Jr, Cronin CM, Stock EL.

University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston 77555-0787.

Ophthalmologica 1993;207(2):57-61 Abstract quote

Angioid streaks of the fundus are not apparent at birth. In order to study their evolution, we examined in a retrospective manner the fundus pictures of 111 subjects with angioid streaks. The earliest form of angioid streaks became apparent at age 8 with findings of narrow short radial discontinuous hypopigmented streaks. Thereafter angioid streaks enlarged in length and width. The end-stage was disciform macular degeneration, helicoid peripapillary atrophy, or diffuse choroidal sclerosis with obscuration of the angioid streaks.

We conclude that angioid streaks represent a dynamic manifestation of an underlying retinochoroidal degenerative process.


Identification of a novel deletion in the ABCC6 gene leading to Pseudoxanthoma elasticum.

Katona E, Aslanidis C, Remenyik E, Csikos M, Karpati S, Paragh G, Schmitz G.

Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University of Regensburg, Franz-Josef-Strauss-Allee 11, D-93053 Regensburg, Germany; 1st Department of Medicine, Medical and Health Science Center, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary.

J Dermatol Sci. 2005 Nov;40(2):115-21. Epub 2005 Sep 23. Abstract quote  

BACKGROUND:: Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is an inherited systemic disorder, characterized by dermal, ocular and cardiovascular lesions. Genetic defects of the ABCC6 (MRP6) transporter are known to cause PXE.

OBJECTIVES:: The purpose of this study was to identify the genetic background of a PXE patient with a very early onset of the disease and severe systemic involvement.

METHODS:: Direct sequencing of genomic DNA obtained from peripheral whole blood.

RESULTS:: Our patient was found to be compound heterozygous with both ABCC6 alleles having genomic deletions. A novel exon 24-25 deletion was identified on one allele, while the frequently observed exon 23-29 deletion was found on the other allele. The novel deletion is 4.68kb long and was shown to extend from intron 23 to 25. DNA-sequencing of a 2.03kb fusion fragment revealed the deletion breakpoints within introns 23 and 25 originating in the middle of two Alu-repeats.

CONCLUSION:: In a patient with severe clinical symptoms, we found two genomic deletions in regions that might be important for function of the ABCC6 transporter. Genomic deletions in ABCC6 may occur more frequently in PXE patients than previously expected and future genetic analysis should focus on these mutations as well.

Neutrophil elastase in patients with homozygous beta-thalassemia and pseudoxanthoma elasticum-like syndrome.

Samarkos M, Aessopos A, Fragodimitri C, Karagiorga M, Kalotychou V, Voskaridou E, Kavouklis E, Loukopoulos D.

1st Department of Internal Medicine, University of Athens School of Medicine, Athens, Greece.

Am J Hematol 2000 Feb;63(2):63-7 Abstract quote

In this study we investigated the possible role of neutrophil (PMN) elastase and its natural inhibitor, alpha1-proteinase inhibitor (alpha1-PI) in the pathogenesis of the pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE)-like syndrome which is found in patients with homozygous beta-thalassemia.

We studied 30 beta-thalassemia homozygotes with the PXE-like syndrome [PXE(+) group], 20 beta-thalassemia homozygotes without this syndrome [PXE(-) group] and 15 healthy controls.

Plasma PMN elastase concentration in the PXE(+) and in the PXE(-) group was 136.4 +/- 89 and 163.8 +/- 126 microg/L, respectively (P > 0.05). In the control group, the concentration was 42.9 +/- 16.8 microg/L (P < 0.01 for the comparison with both patients' groups). The plasma alpha1-PI concentration in the PXE(+) and in the PXE(-) group was 2.28 +/- 0.75 and 2.6 +/- 0.96 g/L, respectively (P > 0.05). Using logistic regression, we studied the prognostic value for PXE of the following independent variables: number of transfusions, chelation therapy, mean hemoglobin concentration, PMN elastase concentration, alpha1-PI concentration, chronic transaminase elevation, and positivity for anti-HCV. None of the above variables was found to have significant prognostic value for the PXE.

Plasma PMN elastase concentration is elevated in all beta-thalassemia homozygotes; its role in the pathogenesis of the PXE-like syndrome in beta-thalassemia can not be established, but our findings suggest that neutrophils of beta-thalassemia patients are activated, since PMN elastase is a marker of neutrophil activation.

Molecular genetics of pseudoxanthoma elasticum.

Ringpfeil F, Pulkkinen L, Uitto J.

Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Exp Dermatol 2001 Aug;10(4):221-8 Abstract quote

Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), a systemic heritable connective tissue disorder, is characterized by progressive calcification of elastic structures in the skin, the eyes and the cardiovascular system, with considerable intra- and interfamilial phenotypic variability.

Recently, underlying genetic defects have been identified in the ABCC6 gene, which resides on the chromosomal locus 16p13.1 and encodes the MRP6 protein, a member of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) family of proteins.

The affected individuals are homozygous or compound heterozygous for a spectrum of genetic lesions, including nonsense and missense mutations, or deletions and splice-site alterations, confirming the autosomal recessive nature of this condition. Analysis of the deduced primary sequence suggests that MRP6 is a transmembrane transporter, but its function has not been delineated yet. Surprisingly, however, MRP6 is expressed primarily, if not exclusively, in the liver and the kidneys, suggesting that PXE may be a primary metabolic disorder with secondary involvement of elastic fibers.

Identification of mutations in the ABCC6 gene in PXE provides a means for prenatal and presymptomatic testing in families at risk for recurrence. DNA-based analyses will also identify heterozygous carriers who may be at risk for development of limited manifestations of the disease as a result of compounding genetic factors and/or environmental modifiers.

A spectrum of ABCC6 mutations is responsible for pseudoxanthoma elasticum.

Le Saux O, Beck K, Sachsinger C, Silvestri C, Treiber C, Goring HH, Johnson EW, De Paepe A, Pope FM, Pasquali-Ronchetti I, Bercovitch L, Terry S, Boyd CD.

Pacific Biomedical Research Center, University of Hawai'i, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.

Am J Hum Genet 2001 Oct;69(4):749-64 Abstract quote

To better understand the pathogenetics of pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), we performed a mutational analysis of ATP-binding cassette subfamily C member 6 (ABCC6) in 122 unrelated patients with PXE, the largest cohort of patients yet studied.

Thirty-six mutations were characterized, and, among these, 28 were novel variants (for a total of 43 PXE mutations known to date). Twenty-one alleles were missense variants, six were small insertions or deletions, five were nonsense, two were alleles likely to result in aberrant mRNA splicing, and two were large deletions involving ABCC6. Although most mutations appeared to be unique variants, two disease-causing alleles occurred frequently in apparently unrelated individuals. R1141X was found in our patient cohort at a frequency of 18.8% and was preponderant in European patients. ABCC6del23-29 occurred at a frequency of 12.9% and was prevalent in patients from the United States. These results suggested that R1141X and ABCC6del23-29 might have been derived regionally from founder alleles. Putative disease-causing mutations were identified in approximately 64% of the 244 chromosomes studied, and 85.2% of the 122 patients were found to have at least one disease-causing allele.

Our results suggest that a fraction of the undetected mutant alleles could be either genomic rearrangements or mutations occurring in noncoding regions of the ABCC6 gene. The distribution pattern of ABCC6 mutations revealed a cluster of disease-causing variants within exons encoding a large C-terminal cytoplasmic loop and in the C-terminal nucleotide-binding domain (NBD2).

We discuss the potential structural and functional significance of this mutation pattern within the context of the complex relationship between the PXE phenotype and the function of ABCC6.


Autosomal dominant type I Skin changes with vascular complications and severe choroidoretinitis
Autosomal dominant type II Atypical yellowish macular rash with mild retinal changes and no vascular complications
Autosomal recessive type I Intermediate severity with classic skin changes
Autosomal recessive type II Rare with generalized skin laxity but no systemic complaints

Mammographic findings in pseudoxanthoma elasticum.

Bercovitch L, Schepps B, Koelliker S, Magro C, Terry S, Lebwohl M.

Department of Dermatology, Rhode Island Hospital and Brown Medical School, Providence, USA.


J Am Acad Dermatol 2003 Mar;48(3):359-66 Abstract quote

BACKGROUND: There have been isolated case reports of arterial and skin calcification in mammograms of patients with pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), and unpublished anecdotes of many women with PXE undergoing breast biopsy for evaluation of microcalcifications. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to systematically evaluate mammography and breast pathology in PXE.

METHODS: The mammograms of 51 women with confirmed PXE were compared with those of a control sample of 109 women without PXE, noting each of the following characteristics on each mammogram: breast density, skin thickening, skin microcalcifications, vascular calcification, breast microcalcifications and macrocalcifications, and masses. The characteristics of the 2 samples were compared using the 2-tailed t test with a pooled estimate of variance. The indications for mammography and data for each of the mammographic findings were analyzed using the chi(2) test. Available breast biopsy material was reviewed.

RESULTS: The PXE and control groups were similar in age and indications for mammography. There was a statistically significant increase in skin thickening, vascular calcification, and breast microcalcifications in the PXE group (P <.001 each). Breast density, masses, macrocalcifications, and skin calcification did not differ statistically in the 2 groups, but no control patient had axillary calcification, or both vascular calcification and microcalcifications (P <.001). Nearly 1 in 7 of the patients with PXE demonstrated at least 3 of the following: microcalcifications, skin calcifications, vascular calcification, and skin thickening; whereas none of the control group did. Histopathologic findings of breast tissue showed calcification of dermal elastic fibers, subcutaneous arteries, and elastic fibers of the deep fascia and interlobular septae of the fat adjacent to breast parenchyma.

CONCLUSION: Breast microcalcification and arterial calcification are not rare in the normal population and are not of diagnostic value. The presence of both of these findings, especially with skin thickening or axillary skin calcification, should suggest a diagnosis of PXE. The majority of breast calcifications in PXE are benign.


Pseudoxanthoma elasticum: a rare cause of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Spinzi G, Strocchi E, Imperiali G, Sangiovanni A, Terruzzi V, Minoli G.

Department of Medicine II, Valduce Hospital, Como, Italy.

Am J Gastroenterol 1996 Aug;91(8):1631-4 Abstract quote

Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a rare connective tissue disorder. The main clinical features of this condition are characteristic skin lesions, angioid streaks of the fundus oculi, and occlusive vascular disease.

\Gastric hemorrhage is a rare complication. A gastroscopic examination was performed on two patients with PXE who presented with upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding. The two patients had submucosal yellowish nodular lesions similar to the xanthoma-like skin lesions seen in the disease.

We suggest that a diagnosis of PXE be considered for any patient with gastrointestinal hemorrhage, especially if routine clinical and endoscopic examination fail to reveal the cause, and if raised yellow plaque-like lesions are seen in the stomach by endoscopy.



Under the microscope, there are short, curly, frayed basophilic elastic fibers present in the deeper reticular dermis, sparing the papillary dermis.

Cases with secondary perforation or transepidermal elimination may have papillary dermal involvement. Special stains for calcium (von Kossa stain) reveal intense staining reflecting the calcium deposition on the fibers.


SPECIAL STAINS von Kossa stain for calcium

Fibrillin immunofluorescence in pseudoxanthoma elasticum.

Godfrey M, Cisler J, Geerts ML, Christiano A, Uitto J, De Bie S, DePaepe A.

Department of Pediatrics, University of Nebraska Medical Center 68198-5430.

J Am Acad Dermatol 1995 Apr;32(4):589-94 Abstract quote

BACKGROUND: Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a rare heritable connective tissue disorder manifested by skin, ocular, and cardiovascular anomalies. The basic defect is unknown; however, the microscopic findings are indicative of defects in elastic fibers. Among the components of the elastic fibers are elastin and elastin-associated microfibrils.

OBJECTIVE: We assessed the fidelity of this fibrillar system in PXE with the use of antibodies to fibrillin, a major component of elastin-associated microfibrils.

METHODS: Using a well-established immunofluorescence assay, we studied fibrillin deposition in dermal fibroblast cultures from 16 patients with PXE.

RESULTS: Six of the 16 patients (37%) showed some abnormality of fibrillin deposition in fibroblasts derived from lesional skin. Fibroblasts from nonlesional skin displayed normal fibrillin immunofluorescence. The only sibship studied, however, was discordant for fibrillin immunostaining.

CONCLUSION: Unlike the findings in Marfan syndrome, these data are not suggestive of causal fibrillin defects in PXE.


Abnormalities of connective tissue components in lesional and non-lesional tissue of patients with pseudoxanthoma elasticum.

Lebwohl M, Schwartz E, Lemlich G, Lovelace O, Shaikh-Bahai F, Fleischmajer R.

Department of Dermatology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029-6574.

Arch Dermatol Res 1993;285(3):121-6 Abstract quote

Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a disorder of connective tissue in which abnormalities of elastic tissue and collagen are found.

The purpose of this study was to examine the ultrastructure and distribution of connective tissue components in lesional and non-lesional skin of patients by means of indirect immunofluorescence, electron microscopy and indirect immunoelectron microscopy.

Prominent abnormalities of elastic tissue were seen on electron microscopy and confirmed by immunoelectron microscopy. Abnormal elastic fibers containing electron-dense bodies and holes were seen even in non-lesional skin. In addition, the normal pattern of collagen bundles was disrupted in lesional skin, but not in non-lesional skin of patients with PXE. The majority of individual collagen fibrils appeared normal by electron microscopy. The distribution of type IV collagen and laminin was normal in small blood vessels. Finally, abnormalities in the distribution of fibronectin were seen.

The finding of atypical elastic fibers in non-lesional skin supports an early role for elastic tissue components in the pathogenesis of PXE. Interactions between elastin, collagen and other matrix substances may explain some of the abnormalities seen.


Pseudoxanthoma elasticum-like fibers in the inflamed skin of patients without pseudoxanthoma elasticum.

Department of Dermatology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.


J Cutan Pathol. 2007 Oct;34(10):777-81. Abstract quote

Background: Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is an inherited disorder leading to characteristic calcified elastic fibers in skin, eyes and vasculature. PXE-like fibers have not been described in inflammatory skin disease in the absence of other signs of PXE.

Methods: The histopathology of inflamed skin from 13 patients that contained PXE-like fibers but lacked clinical evidence of PXE were studied. Six of these and six comparison specimens from known patients with PXE were subjected to polymerase chain reaction amplification and sequencing of exons 24 and 28 of the PXE-associated gene ABCC6. This genetic analysis employed a novel assay utilizing paraffin-embedded tissue.

Results: Incidental PXE-like fibers were found in patients without clinical suspicion of PXE in lesional tissue showing lipodermatosclerosis, granuloma annulare, lichen sclerosus, morphea profunda, erythema nodosum, septal panniculitis, basal cell carcinoma and fibrosing dermatitis. Two patients with PXE-like fibers but without clinical findings of PXE were heterozygous for a PXE-associated ABCC6 sequence alteration.

Conclusions: This pilot study shows elastic fibers similar to those of PXE in the lesional skin of patients with a variety of inflammatory skin diseases in the absence of clinical evidence of PXE; and some of these patients harbor changes in ABCC6.
Pseudoxanthoma elasticum-like papillary dermal elastolysis (PDE).

This group of patients are usually women aged 60-80 yrs with lesions clinically resembling PXE of the skin but without the associated systemic involvement.

Under the microscope, there is total loss of the elastic fibers within the papillary dermis, unlike the changes in PXE. Because of the inherited nature of PXE, it is important to distinguish PDE from PXE.

Pseudoxanthoma elasticum-like papillary dermal elastolysis: a report of two cases.

el-Charif MA, Mousawi AM, Rubeiz NG, Kibbi AG.

Department of Dermatology, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Lebanon.

J Cutan Pathol 1994 Jun;21(3):252-5 Abstract quote

We report 2 women, aged 83 and 63 years, who presented with multiple asymptomatic, slowly progressive, coalescing, skin-colored papules affecting the sides of the neck and lower abdomen. Incisional biopsies obtained from both patients revealed elastolysis in the papillary dermis. T

hese 2 cases represent pseudoxanthoma elasticum-like papillary dermal elastolysis, a recently described entity, the etiology of which remains unclear.

Pseudoxanthoma elasticum-like papillary dermal elastolysis: report of four Japanese cases and an immunohistochemical study of elastin and fibrillin-1.

Ohnishi Y, Tajima S, Ishibashi A, Inazumi T, Sasaki T, Sakamoto H.

Department of Dermatology, National Defense Medical College, Saitama, Japan.

Br J Dermatol 1998 Jul;139(1):141-4 Abstract quote

We report four patients with pseudoxanthoma elasticum-like papillary dermal elastolysis (PDE).

Multiple small papules on the neck, clinically resembling pseudoxanthoma elasticum, and loss of the elastic fibre network in the papillary dermis were found in each case. Immunohistochemical staining for elastin and fibrillin-1 in one patient demonstrated the disappearance of elastin and fibrillin-1 in the papillary dermis. Site-matched normal skins of the elderly showed intact elastin but a lack of fibrillin-1 in the papillary dermis. The younger normal skins revealed intact elastin and fibrillin-1. T

he results suggest that fibrillin-1 is absent from the papillary dermis of the normal-appearing neck skin of the elderly and that the primary defect in PDE may be in elastin rather than in fibrillin-1.

Coexistence of pseudoxanthoma elasticum-like papillary dermal elastolysis and linear focal dermal elastosis.

Akagi A, Tajima S, Kawada A, Ishibashi A.

Departments of Dermatology, National Defense Medical College, Saitama, and Kinki University School of Medicine, Osaka.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2002 Aug;47(2 Pt 2):S189-92 Abstract quote

An 89-year-old Japanese woman had pseudoxanthoma elasticum-like papillary dermal elastolysis on the neck and linear focal elastosis on the flexor aspects of the legs and thighs.

The lesions of both diseases had similar histologic patterns-loss of elastic fibers in the papillary dermis and accumulation of normal-appearing elastic fibers in the subpapillary or mid dermis. Immunohistochemical analysis showed elastin, and microfibril-associated proteins (fibrillin 1 and 2 and microfibril associated glycoprotein 1 and 4) were absent or decreased in the papillary dermis and present in the accumulated elastic fibers in both lesions.

The association of 2 diseases on different areas of the same patient and histologic and immunohistologic similarities between the diseases suggest that, despite the clinical differences, both diseases are closely related.


Calciphylaxis with histologic changes of pseudoxanthoma elasticum.

Nikko AP, Dunningan M, Cockerell CJ

Division of Dermatopathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA.

Am J Dermatopathol 1996 Aug;18(4):396-9 Abstract quote

Calciphylaxis is a rare condition of widespread calcification of tissues and blood vessels with accompanying vascular thrombosis and ischemic necrosis. Most cases develop in association with hyperparathyroidism in patients with chronic renal failure.

Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a hereditary condition of abnormal elastic tissue structure that leads to widespread abnormalities of the skin, retina, and visceral organs. Histologic changes of PXE have been observed as coincidental findings in several conditions such as following trauma to the skin manifest as isolated plaques often in scars.

We observed histologic findings of PXE in a patient with chronic renal failure who developed fatal calciphylaxis. Complete evaluation failed to reveal evidence of systemic findings of PXE. Histologic changes of PXE may be seen in patients with calciphylaxis as a coincidental finding. Rapidly developing soft tissue calcification may lead to the expression of the characteristic histopathologic findings of PXE without evidence of classic clinical manifestations of PXE.

Calciphylaxis should be added to the list of disorders that may lead to microscopic PXE-like changes.

Elastosis perforans serpiginosa-like pseudoxanthoma elasticum in a child with severe Moya Moya disease.

Meyer S, Zanardo L, Kaminski WE, Horn P, Schmitz G, Hohenleutner U, Herrmann WA, Landthaler M, Vogt T.

Department of Dermatology, University of Regensburg, D-93042 Regensburg, Germany.

Br J Dermatol. 2005 Aug;153(2):431-4. Abstract quote  

A 2-year-old girl with Moya Moya disease who had relapsing cerebrovascular strokes presented with loose skin folds, 'chicken' skin appearance and perforating elastosis serpiginosa-like lesions in the genitocrural region.

Histologically, calcified material perforating the epidermis and adjacent short curled and mineralized elastic fibres suggested a variant of pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE). As PXE is known to be caused by various mutations in the transmembrane transporter ABCC6 gene, we hypothesized that a novel ABCC6 mutation may underlie this unique combination of PXE and elastopathic vascular damage. Therefore, the complete ABCC6 coding region of the patient and her parents was screened for genetic alterations.

No bona fide disease-causing mutation of ABCC6 could be found in the child and in her parents. However, two novel allelic amino acid substitutions (Arg1273Lys and Glu1293Lys; exon 27) were found in the girl and her father, localized in close proximity to the region that codes for the functionally critical second nucleotide-binding fold of ABCC6. Although a causal involvement of these amino acid substitutions could not be proven based on this study, both heterozygote substitutions may possibly have interacted with other undetected recessive maternal ABCC6 changes in the child.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of an association between early-onset PXE and severe Moya Moya syndrome possibly related to ABCC6 changes.

Tumefactive lipedema with pseudoxanthoma elasticum-like microscopic changes.

Taylor NE, Foster WC, Wick MR, Patterson JW.

Department of Pathology, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, and Department of Dermatology, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

J Cutan Pathol. 2004 Feb;31(2):205-9 Abstract quote.  

BACKGROUND: Lipedema is a condition characterized by diffuse, bilaterally symmetrical, painful swelling of the legs and buttocks. Microscopically, there are dermal and septal edema, adipocyte degeneration, and numerous mast cells, features held in common with lipedematous alopecia.

CASE REPORT: We present the case of a 60-year-old woman with a long history of bilateral leg masses with microscopic features of lipedema. In addition, elastic-fiber changes typical of pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) were discovered within the subcutaneous septa in three separate specimens obtained from an affected extremity. The patient did not have other clinical findings of PXE, although there was a history of both hypertension and congestive heart failure.

CONCLUSION: This tumefactive presentation of lipedema has not been previously described. Regarding the elastic-tissue abnormalities, the patient could have either a subclinical form of PXE, perhaps predisposing to lipedema, or secondary elastic-tissue changes resulting from the massive edema. If the latter is the case, then this could represent an unusual manifestation of localized acquired cutaneous PXE (calcific elastosis).


Pseudoxanthoma elasticum and pregnancy.

Xiromeritis P, Valembois B.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Catholic University of Louvain (U.C.L.), Brussels, Belgium,
Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2005 Sep 30;:1-2 [Epub ahead of print] Abstract quote  

A 29-year-old woman affected by pseudoxanthoma elasticum gave birth to her second child in our department, thirteen months after the delivery of her first boy. Her care illustrates many of the potential risks of this rare autosomal systemic disorder.

In order to detect any changes due to pregnancy, ophthalmologic and cardiologic screening examinations should be performed in the beginning of the pregnancy and repeated several weeks after the delivery.

During labor, epidural anesthesia seems to be more advantageous.

Management of upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage in patients with pseudoxanthoma elasticum.

McCreedy CA, Zimmerman TJ, Webster SF.

Department of Surgery, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Oakland, Calif.

Surgery 1989 Feb;105(2 Pt 1):170-4 Abstract quote

Pseudoxanthoma elasticum is a rare inherited connective tissue disorder, which exhibits genetic heterogeneity. It is characterized by elastic tissue degeneration involving many organ systems, with typical cutaneous, ocular, arterial, and gastrointestinal manifestations. Upper gastrointestinal tract hemorrhage occurs in 13% of patients with pseudoxanthoma elasticum and is often resistant to conventional methods of treatment.

A case report involving gastric hemorrhage in a patient with pseudoxanthoma elasticum is presented. The characteristics of pseudoxanthoma elasticum are reviewed, and the management of upper gastrointestinal tract hemorrhage in these patients is discussed.

Oral phosphate binders in the treatment of pseudoxanthoma elasticum.

Sherer DW, Singer G, Uribarri J, Phelps RG, Sapadin AN, Freund KB, Yanuzzi L, Fuchs W, Lebwohl M.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005 Oct;53(4):610-5. Abstract quote  

BACKGROUND: Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a systemic connective tissue disorder involving elastic fiber calcification and fragmentation with major clinical manifestations occurring in the cutaneous, ocular, and cardiovascular systems. Normalization of the serum calcium-phosphate product through hemodialysis in a previous patient with perforating periumbilical PXE and elevated serum phosphate resulted in regression of skin lesions.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to study the effect of pharmacologically limiting the intestinal absorption of phosphate in patients with PXE.

METHODS: Patients received baseline skin examinations, target skin lesion evaluation, and photography; renal function tests and serum calcium and phosphate levels; urine calcium, phosphate, and creatinine levels; skin biopsy; and eye examinations and indocyanine-green angiography. Patients were treated with aluminium hydroxide tablets or liquid and returned every 2 to 4 months for skin photography and lesion evaluation. Repeated skin biopsies were performed on clinically improved target sites. Ophthalmologic evaluation was obtained at yearly intervals.

RESULTS: Of 6 patients, 3 showed significant clinical improvement of skin lesions and all 3 of these patients showed histopathologic regression of disease in their target lesions. No deterioration of eye disease was seen in any of the 6 patients at 1-year follow-up.

CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate that the calcification seen in PXE may be reversible in some patients. This could hold true for eye and vascular lesions and for skin. Further studies supporting these results could reveal the first real treatment option for PXE.

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