Objective: To report the clinicopathologic findings in patients with Grover's disease.
Material and methods: We reviewed the medical records and biopsy specimens from 72 patients with transient acantholytic dermatosis (Grover's disease) examined at Mayo Clinic Rochester. Hematoxylin-eosin-stained biopsy specimens (from all patients) were assessed. Immunohistochemistry stains BRST-2, CAM 5.2, and CD44 were used to stain eight specimens. Direct immunofluorescence reports were reviewed. Selected specimens were stained by indirect immunofluorescence to detect major basic protein.
Results: Of the 72 patients, 63 (88%) were men, and the mean age was 48 years (range, 31 to 85). Lesions were distributed mainly on the trunk (in 71 patients) and proximal extremities (in 25). Heat and sweating frequently were exacerbating factors. Fifteen patients (21%) were bedbound. Concurrent nondermatologic malignant disease was present in 18 patients (25%). Two patients (3%) had acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Follow-up in 28 patients (mean, 38 months; range, 3 months to 7 years) revealed that the disease had recurred in 13, persisted in 3, and resolved in 12. Review of the biopsy specimens showed that acantholysis was pemphigus vulgaris-like in 40 patients (56%), Darier's disease-like in 16 (22%), spongiotic in 12 (17%), pemphigus foliaceus-like in 2 (3%), and Hailey-Hailey disease-like in 2 (3%). A perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate of varied intensity in 64 specimens (89%) was associated with eosinophils in 16 (22%). In nine biopsy specimens with dermal eosinophilia stained for major basic protein, varied dermal cellular and extracellular deposition of major basic protein was present. Results of direct immunofluorescence studies, performed in 17 cases, were negative or nonspecific. CD44 stained acantholytic areas in addition to sweat glands in two of eight specimens (25%).
Conclusion: Further studies of the pathogenesis of Grover's disease are needed. The predisposing conditions, site of involvement, and relapsing nature of this disorder may implicate acrosyringeal dysfunction as the cause.