Deep Morphea

Isabel Bielsa, Aurelio Ariza

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Deep morphea encompasses a variety of clinical entities in which inflammation and sclerosis are found in the deep dermis, panniculus, fascia, or superficial muscle. Morphea profunda, eosinophilic fasciitis, and disabling pansclerotic morphea of children are included in this group, but overlapping of the extent and depth of cutaneous involvement in these various conditions precludes their distinction on the sole basis of clinical or even histologic examination. Furthermore, the limits between morphea profunda and generalized morphea, which usually are classified outside this group, are not clear. Histologically, all these disorders show similar inflammatory and sclerotic findings, the primary difference being the depth of these changes. Associated clinical findings, including arthralgias, arthritis, contractures, or carpal tunnel syndrome, are frequent. Although visceral complications are uncommon, pulmonary, esophageal, and even cardiac abnormalities have been reported. Eosinophilia, hypergammaglobulinemia, and increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate may be present with disease activity. Laboratory studies may demonstrate autoantibody production. Treatment is nonstandardized but UVA irradiation and antiinflammatory or immunosuppressive drugs (mainly antimalarial agents and corticosteroids) may be beneficial. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-95
JournalSeminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007


  • eosinophilic fasciitis
  • generalized morphea
  • localized scleroderma
  • morphea profunda
  • pansclerotic morphea
  • subcutaneous morphea


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