Vascular involvement in cutaneous sarcoidosis

Pathol Int. Feb-Mar 1997;47(2-3):84-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1827.1997.tb03725.x.


Sarcoidosis is a systemic granulomatous disease with systemic vascular involvement, that is, granulomatous angiitis and microangiopathy. To determine if there is vascular involvement in cutaneous sarcoidosis, we examined 42 skin specimens taken from 32 patients with cutaneous lesions of sarcoidosis. Cutaneous sarcoidosis was prevalent in older females with high serum angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) levels. Most skin lesions appeared during the following-up of sarcoidosis. Granulomatous angiitis was present in 12 specimens of sarcoid skin lesions (30.8%). Eight of the 12 specimens showed venous involvement in the dermis. There was no correlation between the incidence of granulomatous angiitis and the gross pattern of cutaneous sarcoidosis. Immunohistochemically, thrombomodulin was negative in the vascular endothelium close to the granuloma or a periphlebitis lesion. Electron microscopy revealed endothelial swelling, luminal narrowing, and basal lamina layering of the basement membrane in the capillaries and venules in the dermis. These findings demonstrated that granulomatous angiitis and microangiopathy coexist in cutaneous sarcoidosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, CD34 / analysis
  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / blood
  • Sarcoidosis / pathology*
  • Skin / blood supply*
  • Skin / chemistry
  • Skin / pathology*
  • Skin / ultrastructure
  • Skin Diseases / pathology*
  • Thrombomodulin / analysis
  • Vasculitis / pathology*
  • von Willebrand Factor / analysis


  • Antigens, CD34
  • Thrombomodulin
  • von Willebrand Factor
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A