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February 1955

PSEUDOXANTHOMA ELASTICUM: Review of Its Relationship to Internal Diseases and Report of an Unusual Case

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology, University of Illinois College of Medicine (Service of F. E. Senear, M.D.).

AMA Arch Derm. 1955;71(2):184-189. doi:10.1001/archderm.1955.01540260042009

DISEASES of the skin are often a window through which light may be shed on some underlying internal disease. The cutaneous lesions may point the finger at their counterparts that lie more deeply. In addition, the histopathologic examination of the cutaneous lesions, using all of the many techniques at our command, may give valuable information about the actual pathologic changes responsible for the systemic disease. This is particularly true of pseudoxanthoma elasticum. For much too long this dermatosis was considered to be an innocuous cosmetic defect. It is only in recent years that pseudoxanthoma elasticum has come to be recognized as merely the cutaneous manifestation of a widespread disorder of the elastic tissue. Identical degenerative changes in the elastic tissue of other organs are believed to be responsible for disease processes of potentially serious importance.

Pseudoxanthoma elasticum is a rare disease. The lesions are