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J Dermatol. 2018 Apr;45(4):436-443. doi: 10.1111/1346-8138.14233. Epub 2018 Feb 9.

Ten-year retrospective clinicohistological study of cutaneous lupus erythematosus in Korea.

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Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, University of Hanyang, Seoul, Korea.


An understanding of the differences in clinical manifestations and laboratory abnormalities between subtypes of cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) is still lacking. The purpose of this study was to analyze demographic, clinical and histological features of CLE according to three main presentation subsets: acute (ACLE), subacute (SCLE) and chronic (CCLE). A 10-year retrospective analysis was performed on data from patients who were diagnosed with CLE between March 2005 and September 2015 in a Korean tertiary referral dermatology clinic. We compared demographic data and clinical and histological findings between three different CLE groups. An overall sample of 220 patients with CLE consisted of 67 patients with ACLE, 25 patients with SCLE and 135 patients with CCLE. Patients with CCLE regardless of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) presence had lower prevalence of anemia, urinary abnormalities and elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Furthermore, CCLE patients who only had skin lesions showed lower female predominance, lower extracutaneous manifestation, fewer laboratory and immunological abnormalities including low antinuclear antibody titers and the lowest positivity for C3, C4 and anti-dsDNA, anti-Ro, anti-Sm and anti-RNP antibodies, and more prominent perieccrine inflammation and dermal fibrosis in histological findings. Considering distinct cutaneous manifestations of LE, a comprehensive awareness of each CLE subtype is important for achieving a favorable prognosis through appropriate diagnosis and management. This study provides comparative clinical and histological profiles of patients with different CLE subtypes in Korea.


cutaneous lupus erythematosus; hematologic abnormality; histological features; immunology; systemic lupus erythematosus

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