Skin manifestations in tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS)

Rebecca Schmaltz, Thomas Vogt, Jörg Reichrath
Dermato-endocrinology 2010, 2 (1): 26-9
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS) is a rare autosomal dominant inherited disease that belongs to the group of hereditary fever syndromes, that are also named hereditary auto-inflammatory syndromes. TRAPS is characterized by a variety of naturally occurring mutations in a TNF receptor (TNFR), that affect the soluble TNFRSF1A gene in the 12p13 region. In some patients, the pathogenesis of TRAPS involves defective TNFRSF1A shedding from cell membranes in response to varying stimuli. TRAPS is characterized by the periodic occurrence of a broad variety of different clinical symptoms that represent an acute-phase response, including fever and pain in the joints, abdomen, muscles, skin or eyes, with broad variations across patients. In many cases, skin involvement is present that may include migratory patches, skin rashes, erysepela-like erythema, edematous plaques, urticaria, periorbital edema and/or conjunctivitis. The histology of skin lesions in TRAPS is nonspecific, in general a perivascular dermal infiltrate of lymphocytes and monocytes can be found. Cutaneous findings are of particular importance in TRAPS: they have been shown to give direction to the diagnosis of TRAPS and in most cases their treatment is challenging. As the incidence of TRAPS is very low, no prospective randomized controlled trials and only a few studies with case numbers up to twenty-five patients have been published. No guidelines for TRAPS treatment have been established so far. This review summarizes our present knowledge about pathogenesis, clinical outcome and treatment options of skin manifestations in TRAPS.

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