Clinical and histological features and treatment outcomes of patients with Morbihan disease: a systematic review

Arch Dermatol Res. 2023 Oct;315(8):2427-2429. doi: 10.1007/s00403-023-02621-6. Epub 2023 Apr 16.


Morbihan disease (MD) is considered a rare complication of rosacea, which is difficult to diagnose and challenging to treat. Here, we performed a systematic review of available case reports and case series to summarize key clinical and pathologic features of and successful treatment regimens for MD. We conducted a search of the PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane electronic databases from their inception to the date of search on March 6, 2023. We found that MD affects patients in the fifth decade of life on average, more commonly reported in male than female (69% vs 31%). Clinically, MD affects the eyelids, cheeks, and forehead most commonly, presenting as non-pitting, erythematous edema or an edematous plaque. On biopsy, the pathologic features, such as dermal edema, sebaceous hyperplasia, perivascular and periadnexal inflammatory infiltrate, and granulomatous reaction, are frequently reported. Out of 55 patients who were able to achieve complete response without recurrence, 35% of patients were treated with isotretinoin and 22% were treated with tetracycline antibiotics with a daily dosage range of 20-80 mg and 40-200 mg, respectively. Out of those 55 patients, 22% and 7% were treated successfully with surgical intervention and intralesional injection of steroids, respectively. Additionally, lymphatic drainage has been shown to be an effective adjunctive therapeutic tool. More studies are necessary to understand the disease mechanism to improve the diagnosis of and develop evidence-based therapies for MD.

Keywords: Clinical features; Morbihan disease; Morbihan syndrome; Pathology; Treatments.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Edema / pathology
  • Erythema / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isotretinoin
  • Male
  • Rosacea* / diagnosis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Isotretinoin