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Acta Derm Venereol. 2002;82(3):200-3.

Fibroblastic rheumatism: a case without rheumatological symptoms.

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Department of Immunodermatology, Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata, IDI-IRCCS, Rome, Italy.


Fibroblastic rheumatism is a rare syndrome characterized by the association of multiple cutaneous nodules with symmetric polyarthritis. We report on a patient who presented a 4-year history of pink to skin-coloured nodular lesions symmetrically localized at para-articular sites without evident rheumatological symptoms. Histopathology of a skin nodule led to the diagnosis of fibroblastic rheumatism showing a poorly circumscribed dermal proliferation of spindle and stellate fibroblast-like cells embedded in thickened collagen bundles with a marked reduction of elastic fibres. X-rays of both hands and feet showed metacarpophalangeal, metatarsalphalangeal and interphalangeal erosions, unexpected by patient history. This case of fibroblastic rheumatism appears unique in view of the absence of any clinical manifestation of polyarthritis at 7 years from appearance of skin lesions.

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