Indian Journal of Dermatology
  Publication of IADVL, WB
  Official organ of AADV
Indexed with Science Citation Index (E) , Web of Science and PubMed
Users online: 2115  
Home About  Editorial Board  Current Issue Archives Online Early Coming Soon Guidelines Subscriptions  e-Alerts    Login  
    Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size Print this page Email this page

Table of Contents 
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 317
Progressive symmetric erythrokeratoderma with unusual associations

1 Department of Dermatology and STD, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication28-Apr-2014

Correspondence Address:
Meenu Barara
Department of Dermatology and STD, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5154.131476

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Chander R, Jabeen M, Barara M, Kataria D. Progressive symmetric erythrokeratoderma with unusual associations. Indian J Dermatol 2014;59:317

How to cite this URL:
Chander R, Jabeen M, Barara M, Kataria D. Progressive symmetric erythrokeratoderma with unusual associations. Indian J Dermatol [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 May 25];59:317. Available from:


Progressive Symmetric Erythrokeratoderma (PSEK) or Gottron's syndrome is a rare cornification disorder (OMIM# 602036) with less than 100 cases reported worldwide, amongst which less than 10 were from India. [1] Most reported cases were inherited as an autosomal-dominant trait. The exact genetic basis has not been elucidated yet, though mutations in gene coding for cornified cell envelope (loricrin) have been implicated in majority of cases. We report a case of Gottron's syndrome in an 18-year-old boy for its rare presentation and unusual associations of narcolepsy, mental retardation, and bilateral cortical cataract.

An 18-year-old man presented with mildly itchy, red, raised scaly lesions over face, neck, trunk, and limbs since he was one year of age. He was born after an uncomplicated pregnancy to non-consanguineous parents. Lesions started from trunk and gradually increased in size and number to involve face and limbs till the time of puberty, after which the disease stabilized. The lesions were persistent and non-migratory. There was no seasonal variation. No other member of the family tree was involved.

Cutaneous examination revealed well-demarcated, hyperkeratotic, and erythematous plaques, covered with fine branny scales, present symmetrically over the face, neck, chest (sparing peri-areolar region), axillae, flexor aspect of arms and forearms [Figure 1], dorsa of hands, back, groin, buttocks, medial aspect of thighs, popliteal fossae, and flexor aspects of legs. Palms and soles were spared. There were no nails, teeth, or hair abnormalities.
Figure 1: Progressive symmetric erythrokeratoderma: Classical lesions involving trunk (sparing peri-areolar area) and flexor aspects of arms and fore-arms

Click here to view

Skin biopsy from a representative lesion showed hyperkeratosis, papillomatosis, and acanthosis in epidermis with an unremarkable dermis [Figure 2]. Ophthalmological examination revealed presence of bilateral cortical cataract. Psychiatric evaluation elicited mild mental retardation and narcolepsy. Hearing was normal. Other laboratory parameters were normal.
Figure 2: Photomicrograph showing hyperkeratosis, papillomatosis, and acanthosis (H and E-stained section, ×40)

Click here to view

As per the above clinical presentation and histological findings, patient was diagnosed to have progressive symmetric erythrokeratoderma.

He was started on conservative therapy including topical emollients, urea, and salicylic acid with some beneficial effects.

The erythrokeratodermias are a group of rare hereditary cornification disorders characterized by varying degrees of erythema and hyperkeratosis. They have been divided into two major non-syndromic types and some syndromes such as KID (Keratitis Ichthyosis Deafness) and HID (Hystrix like ichthyosis-deafness) syndrome. [2] The two major non-syndromic types have been described as PSEK and erythrokeratoderma variabilis (EKV).

PSEK is clinically characterized by well-demarcated erythematous and hyperkeratotic plaques that are distributed with an almost perfect symmetry on the head, extremities, and buttocks. Onset is usually in early childhood, which progresses over the next few years and then remains stable over time with morphology, color, and site remaining constant. Rarely, they may partially regress after puberty. Patients are usually mentally and physically unaffected. Differential diagnoses include EKV, psoriasis, and pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP).

Though majority of genetic analyzes in affected individuals and transgenic mice have found mutations in gene for loricrin as the underlying defect, a recent report demonstrated connexin mutations in a PSEK patient. [3],[4] Loricrin is the major structural component of the cornified cell envelope while connexins are the protein units of gap junctions distributed in skin, nervous system, internal ear, cornea, and lens. Due to unavailability of genetic testing in our institute, exact mutation in our patient could not be elucidated. Associated neurological abnormalities have been described recently. [5] We hypothesize that unusual association of ocular and neurological complaints in our patient could be due to underlying mutation of gap junction protein, connexin.

   References Top

1.Prabhu S, Shenoi SD, Pai SB, Handattu S, Bhattachan B. Progressive and Symmetric erythrokeratoderma of adult onset: A rare case. Indian Dermatol Online J 2010;1:43-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
2.van Geel M, van Steensel MA, Küster W, Hennies HC, Happle R, Steijlen PM, et al. HID and KID syndromes are associated with the same connexin 26 mutation. Br J Dermatol 2002;146:938-42.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Ishida-Yamamoto A, Takahashi H, Iizuka H. Loricrin and human skin diseases: Molecular basis of loricrin keratodermas. Histol Histopathol 1998;13:819-26.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Van Steensel MA, Oranje AP, Van der Schroeff JG, Wagner A, Van Geel M. The missense mutation G12D in connexin 30.3 can cause both erythrokeratodermia variabilis of Mendes da Costa and progressive symmetric erythrokeratodermia of Gottron. Am J Med Genet A 2009;149:657-61.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Verma SB, Uwe W. Progressive symmetric erythrokeratodermia with delayed intellectual milestones and convulsions. Indian Dermatol Online J 2012;3:54-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


Print this article  Email this article
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Article in PDF (848 KB)
    Citation Manager
    Access Statistics
    Reader Comments
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded68    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal