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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1994 Mar;30(3):441-6.

Atrophoderma of Pasini and Pierini. Clinical and histopathologic findings and antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi in thirty-four patients.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Basel, Switzerland.



Idiopathic atrophoderma of Pasini and Pierini (IAPP) is a distinctive form of dermal atrophy, usually appearing as one or more sharply demarcated depressed areas. Little is known about the clinical variants of IAPP, and limited data are available on antibiotic therapy for this condition.


Our purpose was to define the various types of IAPP clinically and histologically and to investigate a possible association with Borrelia burgdorferi infection.


The records of 34 patients with IAPP were reviewed. Skin biopsy specimens for routine histologic examination were obtained from 17 patients. Serum from 26 patients was analyzed for antibodies against B. burgdorferi.


Of the 34 patients (21 female, 13 male, 7 to 66 years of age), 23 had well-circumscribed brown, depressed plaques. The back was most frequently involved (82%). Eleven patients had a superficial variant of IAPP, characterized by slightly atrophic brown macules forming large hyperpigmented patches with an irregular border. Secondary areas of induration developed in 7 of 34 patients. Ten of 26 patients (38%) had elevated serum antibodies to B. burgdorferi. Twenty of the 25 patients treated with oral antibiotics had clinical improvement with no evidence of new active lesions.


IAPP is an abortive, primarily atrophic variant of morphea. The clinical appearance of IAPP may be variable according to the stage of dermal atrophy and distribution of the lesions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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