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Keratoelastoidosis marginalis pathology

Author: Assoc Prof Patrick Emanuel, Dermatopathologist, Auckland, New Zealand, 2013.

Table of contents

What is keratoelastoidosis marginalis?

Keratoelastoidosis marginalis presents as symmetric, hyperkeratotic, linear plaques along the lateral aspects of the hands. It has otherwise been reported as digital papular calcific elastosis of the hands, and degenerative collagenous plaques of the hands.

Histology of keratoelastoidosis marginalis

Histologic findings in keratoelastoidosis marginalis include epidermal acanthosis with some loss of the rete pattern associated with overlying hyperkeratosis (figure 1). There are thick acellular collagen bundles in the dermis (figure 2). In addition, there are fragmented degenerative elastic which may form elastotic masses. These masses sometimes calcify (figure 3).

Keratoelastoidosis marginalis pathology

Special studies for keratoelastoidosis marginalis

Elastic stains will show a reduction of elastic fibres. The residual elastic fibres are disorganised or can form masses

Differential diagnosis of keratoelastoidosis marginalis pathology

Dermal elastosis – the dense fibroplasia and clinical features help to distinguish this disorder from regular dermal elastosis.



  • Tieu KD, Satter EK. Thickened plaques on the hands. Collagenous and elastotic marginal plaques of the hands (CEMPH). Arch Dermatol. 2011 Apr;147(4):499–504. Journal

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