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Coll Antropol. 2011 Sep;35 Suppl 2:325-9.

Actinic reticuloid--photosensitivity or pseudolymphoma?--A review.

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Department of Dermatovenereology, "Sestre milosrdnice" University Hospital Centre, Zagreb, Croatia.


Actinic reticuloid (AR) or chronic actinic dermatitis is considered a sunlight-induced pseudolymphoma (PSL) on light exposed areas of the skin, which primarily affects elderly males. The disease is a severe, chronic photosensitive dermatosis, first described by Ive et al. in 1969. PSL is a group of non-cancerous lymphocytic skin disorders that simulate malignant lymphomas, but the changes usually spontaneously regress. The clinical appearance of Actinic reticuloid is variable, usually characterized by an eczematous, pruritic eruption, predominantly present on the head and neck, or other sun exposed areas, but can involve any area of the body. Thereby, crucial characteristic is photosensitivity, where at action spectrum involves UVB, UVA and visible light beyond 400 nm. The disease is considered as PSL which histologically resembles lymphoma with immunohistochemical analysis of the cutaneous infiltrate revealing presence of activated T cells, numerous histiocytes, macrophages and B cells. Moreover, the development of malignant (non-cutaneous) T cell lymphoma in the course of AR has been reported. As the disease has chronic character, it requires significant changes in the patient's lifestyle and avoidance of provoking factors such as contact allergens or sources of intense light. Thus AR should be considered in every patient who presents with persistent, unclear, erythematous skin changes on the face and neck that are related to sun exposure.

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