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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001 Sep;45(3):325-61; quiz 362-4.

Panniculitis. Part II. Mostly lobular panniculitis.

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Department of Dermatology, Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Universidad Autónoma, Madrid, Spain.


The second part of our review of panniculitis summarizes the clinicopathologic features of the mostly lobular panniculitides. Erythema induratum of Bazin (nodular vasculitis) represents the most common variant of lobular panniculitis with vasculitis, although controversy persists about the nature of the involved vessels. Mostly lobular panniculitides without vasculitis comprise a series of disparate disorders. These include sclerosing panniculitis that results from chronic venous insufficiency of the lower extremities; panniculitis with calcification of the vessel walls such as calciphylaxis and oxalosis; and inflammatory diseases with crystals within the adipocytes such as sclerema neonatorum, subcutaneous fat necrosis of the newborn, and poststeroid panniculitis. Connective tissue diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and dermatomyositis, pancreatic diseases, and alpha(1)-antitrypsin deficiency may also show a mostly lobular panniculitis with characteristic histopathologic features. Lobular panniculitis may also be an expression of infections, trauma, or factitial causes involving the subcutaneous fat. Lipoatrophy refers to a loss of subcutaneous fat due to a previous inflammatory process involving the subcutis, and it may be the late-stage lesion of several types of panniculitis. In contrast, lipodystrophy means an absence of subcutaneous fat with no evidence of inflammation and often the process is associated with endocrinologic, metabolic, or autoimmune diseases. Finally, cytophagic histiocytic panniculitis is the term that has been used to describe two different processes: one is inflammatory, a lobular panniculitis, and the other one is neoplastic, a subcutaneous T-cell lymphoma. The only common feature of these two different processes is the presence of cytophagocytosis in the lesions. (J Am Acad Dermatol 2001;45:325-61.)


At the completion of this learning activity, participants should be familiar with the pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, histopathologic findings, and treatment options for the most frequent variants of the lobular panniculitides.

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