Liu CM, Harris RM, Hansen CD
Malignant atrophic papulosis (MAP), or Degos syndrome, is a rare disorder of unknown etiology. It is characterized by a deep subcutaneous vasculopathy resulting in atrophic, porcelain-white papules. We report the case of a 42-year-old woman with a history of progressive systemic sclerosis who presented with painful subcutaneous nodules on her abdomen along with chronic atrophic papules on her upper and lower limbs. Biopsy results of both types of lesions revealed vascular thrombi without surrounding inflammation. We briefly review the literature on MAP and its association with various connective tissue diseases. To our knowledge, there have been no previous reports of a patient with the clinical and histologic presentations described here. Although the histologic appearance of the subcutaneous nodules was very similar to that of the atrophic papules, the clinical characteristics of the 2 types of lesions were strikingly different. It is fair to theorize that Degos lesions do not start as atrophic porcelain-white papules but rather evolve from a primary lesion. We hypothesize that these lesions start as painful red nodules and may represent part of the disease spectrum in the evolution of MAP.