JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Mast cell degranulation and elastolysis in the early stage of striae distensae.

The lesions of nine patients with early striae distensae (SD) during puberty were examined by light and electron microscopy. Specific changes were seen in very early stage SD, and in clinically uninvolved skin 0.5 to 3 cm remote from the edge of the long axis of the SD lesions. Sequential changes of elastolysis accompanied by mast cell degranulation appeared first, followed by an influx of activated macrophages that enveloped fragmented elastic fibers. The relationships among elastic fibers, mast cells, and macrophages seen in the present work suggest their critical roles in the process of SD formation, especially in the early stage. Our results also indicate that the elastic fiber is the primary target of the pathological process, and the abnormalities extend as far as 3 cm beyond the lesion into normal skin.

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