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Unilateral Nevoid Telangiectasia Clinical Presentation

  • Author: Rajani Katta, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: Sep 04, 2015


Cutaneous lesions are asymptomatic and may go unrecognized. Inquiry into possible stimulus for development may include relation to puberty, pregnancy, contraceptive use, or hepatic diseases.



Patches of superficial, blanchable telangiectasias may be small to large and few to numerous. They are disposed predominantly in a unilateral linear distribution. Note the image below.

Unilateral nevoid telangiectasia on the neck. Unilateral nevoid telangiectasia on the neck.

The third and fourth cervical dermatomes are the most common sites, but the thoracic dermatomes and scattered distant sites may also be involved.



The pathogenesis of unilateral nevoid telangiectasia remains unknown.

The occurrence of acquired unilateral nevoid telangiectasia in certain settings characterized by elevations of estrogen suggests hormonal causes. Such settings include puberty, pregnancy, and during oral contraceptive use. The other major setting in which this has been reported to occur is in states of hepatic dysfunction. Unilateral nevoid telangiectasia has been reported in patients with chronic liver disease due to alcoholism or hepatitis C, and one case was described in a patient with liver metastases from carcinoid tumor.[5]

Uhlin et al documented increased levels of estrogen and progesterone receptors in involved areas compared with normal skin[6] ; however, other reports have not been able to reproduce this finding.

Because unilateral nevoid telangiectasia has been noted in cases in which no underlying hormonal or hepatic pathology has been found, other mechanisms probably play a role in the pathogenesis.

Although reported cases often involve a dermatome or a group of dermatomes, distribution following the lines of Blaschko suggests that a postzygotic somatic mutation leads to a distinct cell population in the affected site (mosaicism).

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Rajani Katta, MD Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, Baylor College of Medicine; Dermatologist, Katta Dermatology

Rajani Katta, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Contact Dermatitis Society, Society of Behavioral Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Michael J Wells, MD, FAAD Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine

Michael J Wells, MD, FAAD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, Texas Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Van Perry, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio

Van Perry, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Abdul-Ghani Kibbi, MD Professor and Chair, Department of Dermatology, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Lebanon

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Unilateral nevoid telangiectasia on the neck.
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