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Dermatology Online Journal

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Pregnancy-associated morphea: a case report and literature review


Morphea, also known as localized scleroderma, is arare fibrosing disorder of the skin, the pathogenesisof which is incompletely understood. It is thought,however, to involve interplay of genetic dispositionand triggering environmental factors, such asinfections and autoimmunity. Pregnancy as a potentialtrigger has only been reported in four cases. Herein,we present a patient who developed morphea of thebreasts during pregnancy, which rapidly resolvedwith a normal delivery. Our patient was distinct fromsome of the reported patients because her conditionwas tightly correlated with her pregnancy, as judgingby rapid resolution after delivery. In addition, therewas no apparent infection, history of autoimmunity,or development of autoimmunity during or afterpregnancy. Although the pathogenesis of pregnancyassociatedmorphea is largely unknown, we exploredpotential mechanisms of this condition, which mayinvolve mechanical injury, “microchimerism,” andshifts in intrapartum hormones, such as TGF-β.

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