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Morgellons Disease

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ABSTRACT

Morgellons disease is a rare disease with unknown etiology. Herein, we report the first case of Morgellons disease in Korea. A 30-year-old woman presented with a 2-month history of pruritic erythematous patches and erosions on the arms, hands, and chin. She insisted that she had fiber-like materials under her skin, which she had observed through a magnifying device. We performed skin biopsy, and observed a fiber extruding from the dermal side of the specimen. Histopathological examination showed only mild lymphocytic infiltration, and failed to reveal evidence of any microorganism. The polymerase chain reaction for Borrelia burgdorferi was negative in her serum.

No MeSH data available.


A single black fiber extruding from the specimen's dermal side.
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Figure 3: A single black fiber extruding from the specimen's dermal side.

Mentions: A 30-year-old woman presented with a 2-month history of pruritic cutaneous lesions on the hands and arms. She insisted that she had fiber-like materials under the skin, and could find fiber-like materials when she ripped the skin off. She also complained of a stinging sensation like having a splinter in the fingers. She brought some pictures of the fiber-like materials ‘in situ,’ taken by her using a magnifying device. Twisted black, brown, and red fibers were buried in the skin (Fig. 1). Upon dermatologic examination, multiple erythematous patches and erosions were observed on the arms, hands, and chin (Fig. 2). Dermoscopic examination revealed nonspecific signs. Regarding past medical history, she had been diagnosed with narcolepsy 12 years previously and had taken modafinil and venlafaxine. She wanted us to perform a histopathologic examination to make a proper diagnosis, which was performed on the intact forearm skin. In a gross examination of specimen, a fiber was observed extruding from the dermal side of the specimen (Fig. 3). The skin specimen and fiber was processed by the routine tissue preparation, content of which was not further investigated. Histopathological examination revealed mild superficial perivascular lymphocytic infiltration, but was otherwise normal (Fig. 4). Periodic Acid-Schiff, Grocott's Methenamine Silver, Warthin-Starry stain, and Wright-Giemsa stain were negative. Masson's trichrome stained only dermal collagen. Cytokeratin 5/6 was positive, cytokeratin 7 was positive in skin appendage, and cytokeratin 20 was negative. Tissue culture was negative for microorganisms. In laboratory tests, the white blood cell count was slightly elevated (12.36×103/µl). Thyroid function tests, immunoglobulins (IgG, IgA, IgM), and complements (C3, C4) were within normal limits. B. burgdoferi serology was negative. Considering that a supportive, non-confrontational, and multi-disciplinary approach5 or antipsychotic agents are essential for the treatment of this disease, she was advised to visit the department of psychiatry and to take medication. However, the patient refused follow-up.


Morgellons Disease
A single black fiber extruding from the specimen's dermal side.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5383751&req=5

Figure 3: A single black fiber extruding from the specimen's dermal side.
Mentions: A 30-year-old woman presented with a 2-month history of pruritic cutaneous lesions on the hands and arms. She insisted that she had fiber-like materials under the skin, and could find fiber-like materials when she ripped the skin off. She also complained of a stinging sensation like having a splinter in the fingers. She brought some pictures of the fiber-like materials ‘in situ,’ taken by her using a magnifying device. Twisted black, brown, and red fibers were buried in the skin (Fig. 1). Upon dermatologic examination, multiple erythematous patches and erosions were observed on the arms, hands, and chin (Fig. 2). Dermoscopic examination revealed nonspecific signs. Regarding past medical history, she had been diagnosed with narcolepsy 12 years previously and had taken modafinil and venlafaxine. She wanted us to perform a histopathologic examination to make a proper diagnosis, which was performed on the intact forearm skin. In a gross examination of specimen, a fiber was observed extruding from the dermal side of the specimen (Fig. 3). The skin specimen and fiber was processed by the routine tissue preparation, content of which was not further investigated. Histopathological examination revealed mild superficial perivascular lymphocytic infiltration, but was otherwise normal (Fig. 4). Periodic Acid-Schiff, Grocott's Methenamine Silver, Warthin-Starry stain, and Wright-Giemsa stain were negative. Masson's trichrome stained only dermal collagen. Cytokeratin 5/6 was positive, cytokeratin 7 was positive in skin appendage, and cytokeratin 20 was negative. Tissue culture was negative for microorganisms. In laboratory tests, the white blood cell count was slightly elevated (12.36×103/µl). Thyroid function tests, immunoglobulins (IgG, IgA, IgM), and complements (C3, C4) were within normal limits. B. burgdoferi serology was negative. Considering that a supportive, non-confrontational, and multi-disciplinary approach5 or antipsychotic agents are essential for the treatment of this disease, she was advised to visit the department of psychiatry and to take medication. However, the patient refused follow-up.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Morgellons disease is a rare disease with unknown etiology. Herein, we report the first case of Morgellons disease in Korea. A 30-year-old woman presented with a 2-month history of pruritic erythematous patches and erosions on the arms, hands, and chin. She insisted that she had fiber-like materials under her skin, which she had observed through a magnifying device. We performed skin biopsy, and observed a fiber extruding from the dermal side of the specimen. Histopathological examination showed only mild lymphocytic infiltration, and failed to reveal evidence of any microorganism. The polymerase chain reaction for Borrelia burgdorferi was negative in her serum.

No MeSH data available.