Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Archives Instructions Submit article Search Subscribe Contacts Login
  • Users Online: 150
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 44-47

Mottled pigmentation with neuropathy, an enigma solved!

Department of Dermatology, St. John's Medical College Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication26-Jun-2015

Correspondence Address:
Madhukara Jithendriya
St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru - 560 034, Karnataka
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2349-5847.159396

Rights and Permissions

Dyschromatosis universalis hereditaria (DUH) is usually an autosomal dominantly inherited disorder characterized by the presence of hypopigmented as well as hyperpigmented macules. We report an Indian patient with DUH having involvement of palms and soles, flexures and ocular mucosa. He also had signs of neuropathy, which on further evaluation turned out to be pure neuritic Hansen's disease.

Keywords: Compression neuropathy, dermatoglyphics, dyschromatosis universalis hereditaria, mottled pigmentation

How to cite this article:
Jithendriya M, Britto GR. Mottled pigmentation with neuropathy, an enigma solved!. Pigment Int 2015;2:44-7

How to cite this URL:
Jithendriya M, Britto GR. Mottled pigmentation with neuropathy, an enigma solved!. Pigment Int [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Jul 7];2:44-7. Available from: https://www.pigmentinternational.com/text.asp?2015/2/1/44/159396

  Introduction Top

Reticulate pigmentary disorders (RPD), is not an uncommon clinical presentation in our practice. It is a common differential diagnosis in diseases such as xeroderma pigmentosum, chronic radiodermatitis, cutaneous amyloidosis, malnutrition, topical application of chemicals (e.g., monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone) and poikilodermatous syndromes. Differentiation from each other will help us in proper counseling of our patients.

In this case report, we present - a patient with mottled pigmentation and neuropathy, which later, upon further evaluation turned out to be dyschromatosis universalis hereditaria (DUH) with pure neuritic Hansen's disease.

  Case Report Top

A 29-year-old man, born of second degree consanguineous parents, presented with asymptomatic pigmented lesions all over the body since infancy [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4] and [Figure 5]. Gestational period and childbirth were uneventful, and he had normal developmental milestones. Except for decreased sensation on the lateral aspect of the left foot since 3 months, there was no other systemic illness. Other family members gave history of similar pigmentation [Figure 6].
Figure 1: Mottled pigmentation over the palms. "Ridge off the end" pattern of dermatoglyphics are seen, which is prominent at the tips of the fingers

Click here to view
Figure 2: Hypo and hyperpigmented macules and patches on the face

Click here to view
Figure 3: Mottled pigmentation of the flexures

Click here to view
Figure 4: Mottled pigmentation of the axilla

Click here to view
Figure 5: Close up view of the hypo and hyper pigmented macules and patches on the patient

Click here to view
Figure 6: Pedigree chart

Click here to view

Cutaneous examination demonstrated mottled pigmentation in a background of diffuse hyperpigmentation distributed symmetrically mainly over the face, neck, trunk, dorsa of hands and feet, palms and soles, in the absence of atrophy and telangiectasia [Figure 1] and [Figure 2]. His dermatoglyphics showed "ridge off the end" pattern loss. Few of the nails had linear hyperpigmentation, and the great toe nails were dystrophic. Reticulate pigmentation was seen in the oral mucosa, cornea and sclera [Figure 7]. Neurological examination was within normal limits, there was no sensory loss, motor weakness, nerve tenderness or nerve thickening. Six sites acid fast bacilli smear was done, which was negative. Skin biopsy showed areas of increased basal melanin and pigmentary incontinence [Figure 8]. ENT examination showed high tone audiometry deficits in both ears. As left sural nerve axonopathy was detected on electroneuromyography testing, nerve biopsy of the same showed features of borderline tuberculoid Hansen's disease.
Figure 7: Reticulate pigmentation of sclera

Click here to view
Figure 8: Histopathology showing areas of increased basal melanin and pigmentary incontinence (H and E, ×40)

Click here to view

  Discussion Top

Reticulate pigmentary disorders encompass a rare heterogeneous group of disorders, characterized by hyperpigmented macules coalescing in a reticular pattern, interspersed with hypopigmented macules. [1] RPD are divided into two broad categories: Acral and generalized. The various acral RPD include reticulate acro-pigmentation of Kitamura, acro-pigmentation of Dohi, acral melanosis heterochromia extremitarium, and dyschromia symmetrica hereditaria. The differential diagnoses of generalized RPD are DUH, dermatopathia pigmentosa reticularis, Naegeli-Franceschetti-Jadassohn syndrome and amyloidosis cutis dyschromica.

Dyschromatosis universalis hereditaria was considered in our case, because of the absence of features of the above conditions such as, alopecia, onychodystrophy, fading of pigmentation in adolescence, keratoderma, enamel hypoplasia, hypohidrosis, heat intolerance and leukokeratosis [Table 1].
Table 1: Differential diagnosis for generalized RPD

Click here to view

Dyschromatosis universalis hereditaria was first described in 1929 by Toyamo in Japan. [2] About 80% of the patients present within the age group of 6 years. [3] Later onset of the disease has been reported even in adulthood or in the sixth decade of life. [3] The trunk and the extremities are the dominant sites involved. [2] Except for a few reports of involvement of palms, [4] soles and oral mucosae, they are generally spared. [3],[5] Generally, DUH does not progress or worsen with age, once well established. [6]

Dyschromatosis universalis hereditaria may be a disorder of inherited genetic defects that disrupts the normal processes involved in melanogenesis. Two loci responsible for DUH are chromosome 6q and 12q. [7] Recently, ABCB6 has been identified as the first pathogenic gene associated with DUH. [8] The histopathology typically shows a focal increase or decrease in melanin content of the basal layer (depending on the type of the lesion biopsied) and occasionally pigmentary incontinence. [9]

This case is presented because of its rarity and unusual occurrence of pigmentation over palms, soles, face and sclera with high tone deficits in audiometry with typical histology. [10] This case differs from published reports by involvement of the flexures, "ridge off the end" pattern loss dermatoglyphics. Recognition and differentiation of this "generally being cosmetic genetic defect" from serious poikilodermatous conditions help in proper counseling and prognostication. Even though, compression neuropathy is a well-known entity associated with DUH, [10] we need to keep our eyes open to recognize common conditions, like Hansen's disease. It is difficult to recognize the patches of Hansen's disease because of the presence of mottled pigmentation in these reticulate disorders, like in our case the signs of compression neuropathy actually turned out to be Hansen's disease by nerve biopsy.

  References Top

Udayashankar C, Nath AK. Dyschromatosis universalis hereditaria: A case report. Dermatol Online J 2011;17:2.  Back to cited text no. 1
Wang G, Li CY, Gao TW, Liu YF. Dyschromatosis universalis hereditaria: Two cases in a Chinese family. Clin Exp Dermatol 2005;30:494-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
Al Hawsawi K, Al Aboud K, Ramesh V, Al Aboud D. Dyschromatosis universalis hereditaria: Report of a case and review of the literature. Pediatr Dermatol 2002;19:523-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
Naveen KN, Dinesh US. Dyschromatosis universalis hereditaria with involvement of palms. Indian Dermatol Online J 2014;5:296-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Binitha MP, Thomas D, Asha LK. Tuberous sclerosis complex associated with dyschromatosis universalis hereditaria. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2006;72:300-2.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Bukhari IA, El-Harith EA, Stuhrmann M. Dyschromatosis universalis hereditaria as an autosomal recessive disease in five members of one family. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2006;20:628-9.  Back to cited text no. 6
Wu CY, Huang WH. Two Taiwanese siblings with dyschromatosis universalis hereditaria. Clin Exp Dermatol 2009;34:e666-9.  Back to cited text no. 7
Zhang C, Li D, Zhang J, Chen X, Huang M, Archacki S, et al. Mutations in ABCB6 cause dyschromatosis universalis hereditaria. J Invest Dermatol 2013;133:2221-8.  Back to cited text no. 8
Kenani N, Ghariani N, Denguezli M, Sriha B, Belajouza C, Nouira R. Dyschromatosis universalis hereditaria: Two cases. Dermatol Online J 2008;14:16.  Back to cited text no. 9
Sardana K, Goel K, Chugh S. Reticulate pigmentary disorders. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2013;79:17-29.  Back to cited text no. 10
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7], [Figure 8]

  [Table 1]


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article
Case Report
Article Figures
Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded275    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal