Nipple eczema, an indicative manifestation of atopic dermatitis? A clinical, histological, and immunohistochemical study.Am J Dermatopathol. 2015 Apr; 37(4):284-8.AJ
Nipple eczema exhibits as a minor manifestation of atopic dermatitis (AD) or occurs as a single skin symptom on the nipple. To characterize the relationship between nipple eczema and AD, a clinical evaluation and an immunohistochemical study were performed. All cases of nipple eczema were confirmed histopathologically. We divided the patients with nipple eczema into 2 groups, namely, those with AD and those without AD, and compared several clinical features. Upon histological examination, the degree of inflammation was subjectively graded as mild, moderate, or severe by 2 separate investigators. Immunohistochemical stainings were performed by using antiinterleukin (IL)-4, anti-IL-13, anti-CD4, and anti-CD8 antibodies, and the results were scored semiquantitatively. In 43 cases evaluated, 12 were nipple eczema with AD. The clinical analysis and histological examination showed no significant differences between the groups. There were consistent findings of IL-4 expressions throughout the epidermis and IL-13 expression mainly in the perivascular area of the dermis. Although CD4 and CD8 were expressed in the cells in the dermis, CD8 expression was detected in the serocrusts of the epidermis. Expression levels of IL-4, IL-13, CD4, and CD8 exhibited no significant differences between the nipple eczema group with AD and the nipple eczema group without AD. Although nipple eczema may accompany AD, we found no definite differences in the degree or pattern of inflammation and cytokine expression level regardless of whether AD was present or not. Serocrust formation seemed to be mainly a collection of CD8-positive cells.