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Ann Dermatol Venereol. 1998 Aug;125(8):522-4.

[Cutaneous malacoplakia: a pediatric case].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service de Dermatologie, Hôpital Tarnier-Cochin, Paris.



Cutaneous malakoplakia is an inflammatory disease characterized by granulomatous accumulation of distinctive phagocytic macrophages. It occurs mainly in visceral or orificial areas; the condition is rarely purely cutaneous, and appears to be extremely rare in childhood.


A facial cutaneous crusted lesion was diagnosed as cutaneous malakoplakia in an immunocompetent child. The lesion had been excised twice and it had recurred, and the diagnosis was made possible only with a third biopsy, after a 2-year chronic expansion. This third biopsy revealed a dense granulomatous inflammation with numerous phagocytic histiocytes containing abundant fine granules and round Michaelis-Gutmann bodies, both staining with PAS, Perls and von Kossa. Biopsy cultures revealed only growth of two different streptococcus (group B) strains. The lesion resolved after a 4-month period of antibiotic therapy, including roxithromycin, ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxasole.


Diagnosis of malakoplakia is mainly made by histopathologic examination of tissue excision or biopsies. There are no specific clinical features. Most reported cases of this uncommon phagocytic reaction to common bacteria have developed in the genitourinary areas (71 p. 100); purely cutaneous localisation, as in our patient, are rare (4 p. 100). Intracytoplasmic granules may result from phagolysosomes and incomplete bacterial killing, with subsequent deposit of iron and calcium in the phagocytic macrophages. A number of reported cases have affected immunocompromised patients with either congenital immunodeficiency or secondary immunodeficiency. The most effective treatment option is based on a protracted antibiotherapy, using drugs that easily permeate the macrophages, e.g. quinolones and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxasole. Lesion may recur after surgical excision.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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