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Reticulate Pigmented Anomaly Workup

  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
Updated: Jun 24, 2016

Other Tests

The dermoscopic findings of Dowling-Degos disease (reticulate pigmented anomaly) are not specific, but they may be useful in selected patients to rule out melanoma of the vulva.[26]


Histologic Findings

Histopathologically in Dowling-Degos disease (reticulate pigmented anomaly), pigmented rete ridge elongation with thinning of the suprapapillary epithelium, dermal melanosis, and perivascular lymphohistiocytic infiltration is present. The downward elongations are composed of regular pigmented basaloid cells.

A small study showed all pigmented cells in the basal layer were recognized by anti-PEP-1, anti-PEP-2, HMB-45, and NKI/beteb antibodies.[39] Supranuclear "caps" of brown granules were observed within most basal keratinocytes in the hyperpigmentation area. The melanocytes contained regular melanosomes in all stages of maturation in their cytoplasms. Melanosomes, mainly of stages III and IV, were evident within keratinocytes, distributed either as scattered patterns or forming caps over the nucleus. Note the image below.

Histologic view showing elongated thin rete ridgesHistologic view showing elongated thin rete ridges with melanin concentrated at the tips (hematoxylin and eosin).
Contributor Information and Disclosures

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH Professor and Head of Dermatology, Professor of Pathology, Pediatrics, Medicine, and Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School; Visiting Professor, Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, New York Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

David F Butler, MD Section Chief of Dermatology, Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System; Professor of Dermatology, Texas A&M University College of Medicine; Founding Chair, Department of Dermatology, Scott and White Clinic

David F Butler, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Medical Association, Alpha Omega Alpha, Association of Military Dermatologists, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for MOHS Surgery, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Warren R Heymann, MD Head, Division of Dermatology, Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Warren R Heymann, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Society of Dermatopathology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

William D James, MD Paul R Gross Professor of Dermatology, Vice-Chairman, Residency Program Director, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

William D James, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Mark A Crowe, MD Assistant Clinical Instructor, Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, University of Washington School of Medicine

Mark A Crowe, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology and North American Clinical Dermatologic Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Borys Savchyk, MD, PhD Director, Molecular Biology Institute, Medical University of Lviv, Ukraine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Alexander Zajchenko, MD Head, Professor, Department of Skin and Venereal Diseases, Medical University of Lviv, Ukraine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Speckled macules on the male external genitalia.
Histologic view showing elongated thin rete ridges with melanin concentrated at the tips (hematoxylin and eosin).
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