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Skin-nontumor / Clinical Dermatology

Other dermatoses

Argyria


Reviewer: Cecilia Rosales, M.D., Baylor College (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 18 July 2011, last major update July 2011
Copyright: (c) 2002-2011, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

Definition
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● Permanent discoloration of skin due to dietary, medicinal or industrial exposure to silver compounds
● Silver deposition in skin and mucous membranes, liver, spleen, adrenal, muscle and brain
● Silver deposits cause pigmentation of basement membranes of adnexal structures

Clinical description
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● Initially present in gingiva as slate blue line due to metallic silver and silver sulfide
● Cutaneous manifestations follow a sun-exposed distribution
● Nails can also be involved
● Laser treatment may be useful (Int J Dermatol 2011;50:751)

Clinical images
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Various images

Microscopic description
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● Silver granules in vascular and adnexal basement membranes and adjacent to dermal elastic fibers
● Granules are brown-black

Micro images
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Tiny, gray-brown-black granules in dermis and concentrated near eccrine glands

Electron microscopy
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● Membrane bound granules within macrophages, lysosomes or free within dermis

Additional references
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eMedicine

End of Skin-nontumor / Clinical Dermatology > Other dermatoses > Argyria


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