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Evaluation of linear dermatoses by reflectance confocal microscopy in children.

Lichen striatus (LS), linear psoriasis (LPs), linear cutaneous lupus erythematosus (LCLE) and linear lichen planus (LLP) often have similar clinical manifestations, which makes clinical diagnosis with the naked eye difficult; therefore, they are easily misdiagnosed. The purpose of this study was to determine whether reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) is helpful in differentiating between these four linear dermatoses in children. This retrospective study included 14 patients with LS, nine with LPs, eight with LCLE and 12 with LLP. All patients were analysed using RCM, and biopsies were collected from lesions previously imaged by RCM. For LS, the dermal papillary rings were partially absent, but when present, manifested with small, homogeneously round, bright cells and occasionally highly refractive plump cellular structures, aggregated in clusters. LPs exhibited dark cyst-like structures with small, bright, round cells aggregated at the epidermal level; at the dermal-epidermal junction, homogeneously distributed, enlarged, faint dermal papillary rings and numerous enlarged low-refractive canalicular structures were observed in the superficial dermis. LCLE and LLP exhibited similar manifestations, including epidermal disarray, almost total absence of dermal papillary rings, and various sized refractive structures densely distributed in the dermis. The key distinguishing features of LCLE were the different sized structures mainly clustered around hair follicles, while LLP demonstrated dense structures with a scattered distribution. RCM may be used to distinguish between the key features of LS, LPs, LCLE and LLP in children.

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