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October 1988

Microprobe Analysis of Chlorpromazine Pigmentation

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pathology (Drs Benning, McCormack, and Shelburne) and Medicine (Drs McCormack and Kaplan), Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC; the Division of Chemistry and Life Sciences, Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC (Dr Ingram), and the Department of Pathology, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Durham, NC (Dr Shelburne).

Arch Dermatol. 1988;124(10):1541-1544. doi:10.1001/archderm.1988.01670100043011

• We describe the histochemical, ultrastructural, and microanalytical features of a skin biopsy specimen obtained from a patient with chlorpromazine pigmentation. Golden-brown pigment granules were present in the dermis, predominantly in a perivascular arrangement. The granules stained positively with the Fontana-Masson stain for silver-reducing substances and negatively with Perl's stain for iron. Electron microscopy revealed dense inclusion bodies in dermal histiocytes, pericytes, endothelial cells, and Schwann cells, as well as lying free in the extracellular matrix. These "chlorpromazine bodies" were quite dense even in unosmicated, unstained ultrathin sections, indicating that the pigmentation is related, at least in part, to the inclusions. Microprobe analysis of the chlorpromazine bodies revealed a striking peak for sulfur, which strongly suggests the presence of the drug or its metabolite within these inclusions.

(Arch Dermatol 1988;124:1541-1544)

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