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April 1961

Cutaneous Capillary Changes in Lupus Erythematosus

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and the Dermatology Service, Walter Reed General Hospital, (Colonel Robert S. Higdon, MC, USA, Chief of Service), Washington, D.C.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;83(4):636-639. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580100100013

Since Cazenave's description of chronic discoid lupus erythematosus as a unique localized skin disease, there has been a gradual evolution of thought concerning this disease. In recent years, carefully performed clinical, pathological, and laboratory investigations have provided considerable evidence that lupus erythematosus, in all its clinical forms, is a generalized disease.

Pathologic studies1,2 have shown that there is involvement of the vasculature of all organs demonstrating lesions of this disease. This may vary in severity from simple capillary dilatation without damage of the vessel wall to complete fibrinoid necrosis of the wall with obliteration of the lumen.

Abnormalities of the superficial vessels within the cutaneous lesions of lupus erythematosus have been noted by capillary microscopy. Gilje3 and Davis and Lawler4 found a marked decrease in the number of end capillaries in chronic discoid lupus, and Gilje3 reported similar changes in the cutaneous lesions of acute disseminate