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Br J Plast Surg. 2005 Jan;58(1):28-37.

Keloid disease: clinical relevance of single versus multiple site scars.

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Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, South Manchester University Hospital Trust, Southmoor Road, Wythenshawe, Manchester, UK.


Much of our current understanding of keloid disease (KD) is based on anecdote rather than objective observation and statistical analysis. To elucidate further the aetiology of KD, we compared the profiles of patients with single versus multiple anatomical site keloid scars. We studied the clinical characteristics of 211 cases of keloid scarring, 137 (65%) females and 74 (35%) males. There were 122 cases with scars in single anatomical site and 89 cases with 369 scars in multiple anatomical sites entered into the study. Patients were of Afrocaribbean origin that presented to the department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. A total number of 491 keloid scars (single and multiple sites) were evaluated in the study. Data were collected on multiple parameters. The association of age of onset, anatomical area, cause of scarring, sex of the patient, presence or absence of family and medical history in patients with single as opposed to multiple site keloid scars were examined in detail and statistically evaluated. The formation of keloid scars in multiple anatomical sites was found to be statistically significant in that it was more common in younger age groups (p < 0.001) and in females (p < 0.001). Previous medical history, including other fibrotic disorders, was not statistically associated with development of keloid scars in multiple anatomical sites (p > 0.05). More than 50% (111) of all keloid cases had a positive family history of keloid scarring, and family history was strongly associated with the formation of keloid scars in multiple sites as opposed to a single anatomical site (p < 0.002). We conclude that in this particular study group female sex, younger age at presentation and the presence of a positive family history were associated with the development of keloid scars in multiple anatomical sites in Afrocaribbean individuals. This knowledge further emphasizes the need for genetic studies in KD, which may lead to better diagnostic and therapeutic regimes.

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