Bullous lesions in acrodermatitis enteropathica: Histopathologic findings regarding two patients

G. Borroni, V. Brazzelli, G. Vignati, C. Zaccone, G. P. Vignoli, G. Rabbiosi

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Acrodermatitis enteropathica (AE) is an autosomic recessive disorder affecting early infancy. Two cases of infantile AE with low plasma zinc levels are reported in which unusually prominent bullous and vesicobullous lesions were seen on the hands and feet, in addition to the more typical erythematous and scaly patches. Both psoriasiform and bullous lesions responded dramatically to oral zinc-sulfate supplementation. The histopathologic features of the bullous lesions of AE have not previously been fully examined. Histologically, the bullous lesions were characterized by intraepidermal vacuolar changes with massive ballooning, leading to intraepidermal vesiculation and blistering, with prominent epidermal necrosis and with no acantholysis. The bullous lesions did not arise on erythematous patchy lesions, but developed ex novo on unaffected skin. The histopathologic differential diagnosis with other bullous conditions is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-309
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Dermatopathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • Acrodermatitis enteropathica
  • Bullous lesions
  • Zinc deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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