Importance: Chilblain-like lesions have been one of the most frequently described cutaneous manifestations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their etiopathogenesis, including the role of SARS-CoV-2, remains elusive. Objective: To examine the association of chilblain-like lesions with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Design, setting, and participants: This prospective case series enrolled 17 adolescents who presented with chilblain-like lesions from April 1 to June 30, 2020, at a tertiary referral academic hospital in Italy. Main outcomes and measures: Macroscopic (clinical and dermoscopic) and microscopic (histopathologic) analysis contributed to a thorough understanding of the lesions. Nasopharyngeal swab, serologic testing, and in situ hybridization of the skin biopsy specimens were performed to test for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Laboratory tests explored signs of systemic inflammation or thrombophilia. Structural changes in peripheral microcirculation were investigated by capillaroscopy. Results: Of the 17 adolescents (9 [52.9%] male; median [interquartile range] age, 13.2 [12.5-14.3] years) enrolled during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, 16 (94.1%) had bilaterally localized distal erythematous or cyanotic lesions. A triad of red dots (16 [100%]), white rosettes (11 [68.8%]), and white streaks (10 [62.5%]) characterized the dermoscopic picture. Histologic analysis revealed a remodeling of the dermal blood vessels with a lobular arrangement, wall thickening, and a mild perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate. SARS-CoV-2 infection was excluded by molecular and serologic testing. In situ hybridization did not highlight the viral genome in the lesions. Conclusions and relevance: This study delineated the clinical, histologic, and laboratory features of chilblain-like lesions that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its findings do not support their association with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The lesions occurred in otherwise healthy adolescents, had a long but benign course to self-resolution, and were characterized by a microvascular remodeling with perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate but no other signs of vasculitis. These results suggest that chilblain-like lesions do not imply a concomitant SARS-CoV-2 infection. Ongoing studies will help clarify the etiopathogenic mechanisms.

Bilateral Chilblain-like Lesions of the Toes Characterized by Microvascular Remodeling in Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Discepolo V;Catzola A;Pierri L;Mascolo M;Della Casa F;Vastarella M;Travaglino A;Punziano A;Nappa P;Staibano S;Bruzzese E;Fabbrocini G;Guarino A;Alessio M.
2021

Abstract

Importance: Chilblain-like lesions have been one of the most frequently described cutaneous manifestations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their etiopathogenesis, including the role of SARS-CoV-2, remains elusive. Objective: To examine the association of chilblain-like lesions with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Design, setting, and participants: This prospective case series enrolled 17 adolescents who presented with chilblain-like lesions from April 1 to June 30, 2020, at a tertiary referral academic hospital in Italy. Main outcomes and measures: Macroscopic (clinical and dermoscopic) and microscopic (histopathologic) analysis contributed to a thorough understanding of the lesions. Nasopharyngeal swab, serologic testing, and in situ hybridization of the skin biopsy specimens were performed to test for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Laboratory tests explored signs of systemic inflammation or thrombophilia. Structural changes in peripheral microcirculation were investigated by capillaroscopy. Results: Of the 17 adolescents (9 [52.9%] male; median [interquartile range] age, 13.2 [12.5-14.3] years) enrolled during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, 16 (94.1%) had bilaterally localized distal erythematous or cyanotic lesions. A triad of red dots (16 [100%]), white rosettes (11 [68.8%]), and white streaks (10 [62.5%]) characterized the dermoscopic picture. Histologic analysis revealed a remodeling of the dermal blood vessels with a lobular arrangement, wall thickening, and a mild perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate. SARS-CoV-2 infection was excluded by molecular and serologic testing. In situ hybridization did not highlight the viral genome in the lesions. Conclusions and relevance: This study delineated the clinical, histologic, and laboratory features of chilblain-like lesions that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its findings do not support their association with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The lesions occurred in otherwise healthy adolescents, had a long but benign course to self-resolution, and were characterized by a microvascular remodeling with perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate but no other signs of vasculitis. These results suggest that chilblain-like lesions do not imply a concomitant SARS-CoV-2 infection. Ongoing studies will help clarify the etiopathogenic mechanisms.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/857574
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