Granulomatous & histiocytic dermatitides

Semin Diagn Pathol. 2017 May;34(3):301-311. doi: 10.1053/j.semdp.2016.12.003. Epub 2016 Dec 14.


Granulomas of the skin may be classified in several ways. They are either infectious or non-infectious in character, and they contain areas of necrobiosis or necrosis, or not. Responsible infectious agents may be mycobacterial, fungal, treponemal, or parasitic organisms, and each case of granulomatous dermatitis should be assessed histochemically for those microbes. In the non-infectious group, examples of necrobiotic or necrotizing granulomas include granuloma annulare; necrobiosis lipoidica; rheumatoid nodule; and lupus miliaris disseminates faciei. Non-necrobiotic/necrotizing and non-infectious lesions are exemplified by sarcoidosis; foreign-body reactions; Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome; Blau syndrome; elastolytic granuloma; lichenoid and granulomatous dermatitis; interstitial granulomatous dermatitis; cutaneous involvement by Crohn disease; granulomatous rosacea; and granulomatous pigmented purpura. Histiocytic dermatitides that do not feature granuloma formation are peculiar reactions to infection, such as cutaneous malakoplakia; leishmaniasis; histoplasmosis; lepromatous leprosy; rhinoscleroma; lymphogranuloma venereum; and granuloma inguinale.

Keywords: Cutaneous infections; Diseases featuring “parasitized” histiocytes; Granulomatous dermatitis; Malakoplakia; Necrobiotic granulomas; Skin involvement by intestinal diseases; Syndromes featuring granulomas.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dermatitis / pathology*
  • Granuloma / pathology*
  • Histiocytes / pathology*
  • Humans