What is the pathophysiology of small plaque parapsoriasis (SPP)?

Updated: Sep 04, 2019
  • Author: Henry K Wong, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Small plaque parapsoriasis likely is a reactive process of predominantly CD4+ T cells. Genotypic pattern observed in small plaque parapsoriasis is similar to that observed in chronic dermatitis, and the pattern of clonality of T cells is consistent with the response of a specific subset of T cells that have been stimulated by an antigen. Multiple dominant clones can be detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of T-cell receptor gene usage, which supports a reactive process. Lymphocytes do not show histologic atypia to suggest malignant transformation. Southern blot analysis of T-cell receptor genes from parapsoriasis does not identify a dominant clone of T cells.

Some physicians believe that small plaque parapsoriasis is an abortive T-cell lymphoma; however, no clear distinguishing evidence, such as genetic changes (eg, TP53 mutations) observed in other malignancies, exists to support this contention. [9] Nevertheless, a hint to the verity of this hypothesis is the recent identification of increased telomerase activity in T cells from CTCL at low-grade stages, high-grade lymphoma, and parapsoriasis, which is activity not exhibited in normal T cells. A better understanding is likely to develop from further molecular characterization. [10]


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