Cary Chisholm, MD

Psoriasis presents here as an ostraceous, silvery-white, adherent, thick scale image over the knuckles on erythematous plaques image in the usual extensor location.

In this psoriasis vulgaris plaque, psoriasiform hyperplasia is evident with thinning of the suprapapillary plates image, confluent parakeratosis image, and superficial perivascular lymphocytes and neutrophils.



  • Psoriasis vulgaris


  • Prototype of psoriasiform dermatoses


Environmental/Lifestyle Associations

  • Stress

  • Comorbidities of metabolic syndrome

    • Obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease

  • Some organisms

    • Viruses: HPV5, HPV36, and HIV

    • Bacteria: Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus

    • Fungi: Malassezia spp., Candida albicans

  • Trauma

    • Koebner reaction: Present in 1/3 of cases

  • Medications

    • Particularly β-blockers, ACE-inhibitors, clonidine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-malarials, and some β-lactam antibiotics


  • Extremely complicated and ever evolving

  • Polygenic, but more common in monozygotic than dizygotic twins

  • HLA-Cw6

    • Psoriasis vulgaris, guttate psoriasis

    • Earlier disease onset

    • Penetrance only 10-15%

  • Interleukin (IL)-23α subunit, IL-12/23 shared β subunit, IL-23 receptor subunit

    • Critical role in mounting a T-cell response

    • Other gene products that interact with these subunits are also implicated

  • IL-4 and IL-13 polymorphisms

    • Important role in forming and mediating effects of the Th2 T-cell subset

    • Also leads to downregulation of Th1 T cells

  • Downstream signaling mediators of tumor necrosis factors (TNF)

    • TNIP1 and TRAF3IP2


  • Very complex; a detailed explanation is beyond the scope of this chapter

  • T cells are recruited to the superficial dermal vessels

    • CD4(+) T cells mostly remain in the dermis

    • CD8(+) T cells infiltrate the epidermis

  • Dermal dendritic cells exacerbate CD4 T-cell recruitment and cytokine cascade

    • Plasmacytoid dendritic cells produce interferon (IFN)-α

    • Langerhans cells stimulate IL-22 producing T cells

    • Myeloid dendritic cells produce TNF-α, produce and stimulate multiple cytokines, stimulate T cells, and increase IFN-γ

  • Increase in cytokines causes keratinocyte proliferation and epidermal hyperplasia


Jul 8, 2016 | Posted by in PATHOLOGY & LABORATORY MEDICINE | Comments Off on Psoriasis

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