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May 1977

Fragmentation of Elastic Fibers

Author Affiliations

Monroe, Mich

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(5):684. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640050144029

To the Editor.—  The June 1976 issue of the Archives contains an interesting report of a case of acquired cutis laxa.1 Although we do not doubt the authors' statement that they observed "fragmentation and granulation" of elastic fibers in the skin sections they studied, we submit that Figure 4 of their article does not document that statement.As we pointed out in 1969,2 fragmentation of elastic fibers is difficult to prove. Many normal elastic fibers, because of their three-dimensional distribution in the skin, are chopped into short pieces by the microtome knife, and this effect is recognized by the sharp edges of the "fragments" as illustrated in Figure 4 of the article by Scott et al1 and in Figures 63 and 247 of the second edition of our book.3 True elastolysis is illustrated in Figure 257 of A Guide to Dermatohistopathology.

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