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Líquen nítido generalizado em paciente com doença de Niemann-Pick tipo B Generalized Lichen Nitidus in a boy with Niemann-Pick disease type B C R


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An Bras Dermatol. 2013;88(6):977-8.



Generalized Lichen Nitidus in a boy with Niemann-Pick disease type B


Líquen nítido generalizado em paciente com doença de Niemann-Pick tipo B

Vera Barreto Teixeira1 Inês Coutinho1 José Carlos Cardoso2 Óscar Tellhechea3

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/abd1806-4841.20132829

Abstract:Generalized lichen nitidus is an uncommon chronic inflammatory dermatosis with very characteristic histological findings. Its pathogenesis is still unclear; very rarely it has been associated with genetic disorders.

Herein we report the case of a 12-year-old boy with Niemann-Pick disease who developed generalized lichen nitidus.

Keywords: Granuloma; Lichen nitidus; Niemann-Pick disease, type B

Resumo: Líquen nítido generalizado é uma dermatose inflamatória crônica, rara, com achados histológicos muito característicos. Sua patogênese não está completamente esclarecida e, muito raramente, tem sido associa- do a doenças genéticas. Reportamos o caso de um doente do sexo masculino, de 12 anos de idade, com Doença de Niemann-Pick, que desenvolveu líquen nítido generalizado.

Palavras-chave: Doença de Niemann-Pick tipo B; Granuloma; Líquen nítido

Received on 29.05.2013.

Approved by the Advisory Board and accepted for publication on 16.06.2013.

* Work performed at the Dermatology Department, Hospitals of the University of Coimbra (HUC) – Coimbra, Portugal.

Financial Support: none Conflict of Interests: none

1 M.D. – MD - Dermatology Resident at the Dermatology Department, Hospitals of the University of Coimbra (HUC) – Coimbra, Portugal.

2 MD - Hospital Assistant, Dermatology Department, Hospitals of the University of Coimbra (HUC) – Coimbra, Portugal.

3 MD, PhD, Professor - Head of Service, Dermatology Department, Hospitals of the University of Coimbra (HUC) – Coimbra, Portugal.

©2013 by Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia


First described by Pinkus in 1901, lichen nitidus (LN) is an uncommon disorder that affects children and young adults. It typically presents with multiple glistening, flesh-coloured, pinhead-sized, dome- shaped papules usually limited to the genitalia, upper extremities and abdomen. Although usually asympto- matic, it may occasionally be pruritic. Its pathogenesis remains unclear, although it is typically not associated with any systemic manifestations.


A 12-year-old boy presented with a 12-month history of asymptomatic papules that first appeared on his shoulders and gradually spread to involve  most of the skin surface.  The patient had Niemann-Pick disease type B, confirmed by genetic study at the age of 4. Hepatosplenomegaly  and dys- lipidaemia  were the main manifestations of the dis- ease. He has been in the 10th percentile for both weight and height. His neurological state and intellec-

tual ability were normal. There was no history of con- sanguinity between his parents. His 16 year-old sister was also affected by Niemann-Pick disease, although without any cutaneous manifestations.

On physical examination, there were numerous discrete,  skin-coloured, flat-topped, monomorphic, pinhead-sized papules grouped over the abdomen, umbilicus, trunk, penile shaft, upper extremities, knees and malleolar regions. On the lower back some of the lesions were grouped in linear array, possibly as a result of the Koebner phenomenon (Figure 1). The face, oral mucosa and palmoplantar surfaces were not involved.

Histopathological examination revealed a well circumscribed, lymphohistiocytic granulomatous infiltrate in the papillary dermis. This infiltrate appeared to be clutched by elongated epidermal ridges resembling a “ball and claw” pattern (Figure 2).

The clinicopathological picture was entirely in-keep- ing with lichen nitidus.

Revista6Vol88ingles_Layout 1 1/16/14 5:30 PM Página 977



Rarely, LN may be generalized as in our patient. Its clinical course is unpredictable, although spontaneous resolution can occur after several years.1Generalized LN has occasionally been report- ed in association with genetic disorders: Down syn- drome (four cases)2and Russell-Silver syndrome (one case).3 No causative link was found between these associations. Further studies are needed to clarify if this association is merely coincidental, since Down syndrome is quite common in the general population.

Our patient has Niemann-Pick disease, a rare autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorder.

There are three major subtypes (A, B and C), depend- ing on the gene locus defect. NP types A and B both are caused by deficiency of acid sphingomyelinase, resulting in accumulation of sphingomyelin in multi- ple organs. Subtype B is rarer and less severe than type A, with longer survival, sometimes until adult- hood. Hepatosplenomegaly is the main manifestation in this type.

Skin manifestations reported in Niemann-Pick disease are rare, and most consist of non-specific lesions such as xanthomas, eruptive xanthomatous lesions due to hyperlipidaemia, juvenile xanthogran- uloma, café-au-lait macules and pruritic lesions.4Specific skin lesions in NP have seldom been reported, with ultrastructural detection of lysosomal bodies within phagocytic cells, typical of the disease.4 To our knowledge, this is the first report of gener- alized lichen nitidus in Niemann-Pick disease. More cases and possibly further studies will be needed to clar- ify whether this association found in our patient is only coincidental or if it has any pathogenetic significance. q

An Bras Dermatol. 2013;88(6):977-8.

978 Teixeira VB, Coutinho I, Cardoso JC, Tellechea O

FIGURE1: Numerous flesh-colored, flat papules on the lower back.

Note the linear array of some lesions

FIGURE2: Light microscopy of a papule shows the focal well-cir- cumscribed lymphohistiocytic infiltrate in the dermal papilla and the lateral rete ridges surrounding the infiltrate in a “ball in claw”



Chen W, Schramm M, Zouboulis CC. Generalized lichen nitidus. J Am Acad 1.

Dermatol. 1997;36:630-1.

Botelho LF, Magalhães JP, Ogawa MM, Enokihara MM, Cestari Sda C. Generalized 2.

Lichen nitidus associated with Down's syndrome: case report. An Bras Dermatol.


Kanai C, Terao M, Tanemura A, Miyoshi Y, Ozono K, Katayama I. Generalized lichen 3.

nitidus in Russell-Silver syndrome. Pediatr Dermatol. 2013;30:150-1.

Toussaint M, Worret WI, Drosner M, Marquardt KH. Specific skin lesions in a 4.

patient with Niemann-Pick disease. Br J Dermatol. 1994;131:895-7.

MAILINGADDRESS: Vera Barreto Teixeira Praceta Mota Pinto 3000-075 - Coimbra Portugal

E-mail: vera.teixeira.derm@gmail.com

How to cite this article: Teixeira VB, Coutinho I, Cardoso JC, Tellechea O. Generalized Lichen Nitidus in a boy with Niemann-Pick disease type B. An Bras Dermatol. 2013;88(6)977-8.

Revista6Vol88ingles_Layout 1 1/21/14 8:50 AM Página 978


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