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April 1981

Familial Lichen Planus

Arch Dermatol. 1981;117(4):189. doi:10.1001/archderm.1981.01650040003001

To the Editor.—  We studied five families in which there was more than one patient with lichen planus,1 just as Drs Malhotra and Kanwar reported in the Archives (1980;116:622). We had hoped that one of the doubtless many etiologic matters concerning this disease might have been settled by selecting such families and, because of their rarity, discovering in them an hereditary susceptibility. We HLA typed the patients and some of their relations, but the result did not conclusively support our hypothesis that a certain genetic type rendered the patient liable to experience this cutaneous reaction pattern.We had postulated that lichen planus developed in response to exposure to some external agent, be it chemical or infective. The mechanism once started by some trigger factor could then induce skin lesions through some immunologic mediation. In the late 1960s, we were concerned with tracing immune reactants in the lesions and later

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