Kindler Syndrome Workup

  • Author: Anatoli Freiman, MD, FRCPC, DABD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: Aug 17, 2015

Laboratory Studies

Mutation analysis of the KIND1 gene can be performed.


Histologic Findings

Histopathologic examination of atrophic skin lesions in patients with Kindler syndrome reveals nonspecific features of poikiloderma. The epidermis is flattened and atrophic, edema is present at the dermoepidermal junction, and the basal layer shows focal vacuolization with basal cell degeneration. Other histologic features include a prominence of dermal capillaries, pigmentary incontinence, and, possibly, perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate.

Immunostaining with anti–kindlin-1 antibody is a new and useful diagnostic test in the assessment of suspected cases of Kindler syndrome; decreased staining of the epidermis of patients with Kindler syndrome is observed compared with controls.[7]

Electron microscopy shows reduplication and disruption of the lamina densa with attached anchoring fibrils along the dermoepidermal junction and cleft formation in the lamina lucida, suggestive of continual remodeling of the basement membrane zone. Ultrastructural studies of bullae in the skin of affected persons have demonstrated a coexistence of 3 levels of abnormal cleavage: (1) within or just above the basal layer of epidermis (intraepidermal), (2) within the lamina lucida (junctional), and (3) below the lamina densa (dermal).

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Anatoli Freiman, MD, FRCPC, DABD Consulting Staff, Division of Dermatology, Women's College Hospital, University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, Canada

Anatoli Freiman, MD, FRCPC, DABD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Canadian Medical Association, Ontario Medical Association, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Women's Dermatologic Society, Canadian Dermatology Association

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.

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.

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

Franklin Flowers, MD Department of Dermatology, Professor Emeritus Affiliate Associate Professor of Pathology, University of Florida College of Medicine

Franklin Flowers, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Mohs Surgery

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


The authors and editors of Medscape Reference gratefully acknowledge the contributions of previous author, Laura Russell, MD, to the development and writing of this article.

  1. Siegel DH, Ashton GH, Penagos HG, Lee JV, Feiler HS, Wilhelmsen KC, et al. Loss of kindlin-1, a human homolog of the Caenorhabditis elegans actin-extracellular-matrix linker protein UNC-112, causes Kindler syndrome. Am J Hum Genet. 2003 Jul. 73(1):174-87. [Medline].

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  9. D'Souza MA, Kimble RM, McMillan JR. Kindler syndrome pathogenesis and fermitin family homologue 1 (kindlin-1) function. Dermatol Clin. 2010 Jan. 28(1):115-8. [Medline].

Images show the progression of lesions. A and B: At birth, acral blisters and erosions are present. C and D: At age 5 years, atrophy and reticulated erythema with dyschromic patches are noted. E and F: At age 7 years, progressive poikilodermatous changes with reticulated erythema and telangiectasia occur. G and H: At age 10 and 15 years, poikiloderma with telangiectasia and depigmentation are observed. Excoriations are due to pruritus. Reprinted from Yasukawa K, Sato-Matsumura KC, McMillan J, et al: Exclusion of COL7A1 mutation in Kindler syndrome. J Am Acad Dermatol 2002 Mar; 46(3): 447-50. Courtesy of the American Academy of Dermatology.
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