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Journal of Thyroid Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 2652174, 23 pages
Research Article

Morphological Diversity of Pretibial Myxedema and Its Mechanism of Evolving Process and Outcome: A Retrospective Study of 216 Cases

Department of Dermatology, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) 416 Hospital, No. 4 Er Huan Lu Bei Si Duan, Chengdu, Sichuan 610051, China

Received 31 March 2016; Revised 19 June 2016; Accepted 14 July 2016

Academic Editor: Christian Koch

Copyright © 2016 Changgui Lan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Pretibial myxedema (PTM) is a rare dermopathy. The morphologic features and mechanism of its evolving process are not reported in large case series. Methods. 216 cases with PTM were retrospectively reviewed to analyze demographics, history, lesional morphology and its evolving process, histopathology and immunohistochemistry, serum TRAb levels, treatment, and outcome. Results. First appearing lesions evolved into 6 variants that were correlated with serum TRAb levels. Subvariants were caused by different kinds and frequencies of local trauma. The evolving process could be classified into 4 stages that were correlated with serum TRAb levels and perivascular infiltration of CD8+ and CD4+ lymphocytes. Serum TRAb levels at remission and in nonrecurred cases became lower than those before therapy and in recurred cases, respectively, but increased when PTM relapsed. TRAb level in nodule variant went down invariably with the extension of course and its autoimmune activity had a trend to stop but in other 5 variants TRAb levels fluctuated. Their autoimmune activities had no trends to stop and clinically worsen through intermittent repeats of active and stable stages. Conclusions. In the chronic course of PTM, nodule variant is self-limited and other 5 variants are not self-limited. PTM needed early treatment to avoid severe variants.