Generalized granuloma annulare in Adult
In contrast to other variants of granuloma annulare, the generalized form has a bimodal distribution, predominantly affects children younger than 10 years and adults older than 40 years, has a more prolonged course, and is more resistant to treatment. Granuloma annulare does not favor any particular ethnicity or region. Disseminated disease occurs in approximately 15% of patients with granuloma annulare, with a greater incidence in females than males.
Although the etiology of granuloma annulare is poorly understood, there are rare reports of associations with infections, systemic diseases, hematologic malignancies, and solid tumor malignancies. In particular, hypothesized infectious associations are tuberculosis, HIV, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B and C virus, and herpes zoster virus. Systemic diseases reported to have a connection with granuloma annulare are diabetes mellitus (see type 1, type 2) and thyroid disease. Chronic stress has been reported as a trigger. There have also been cases of granuloma annulare following trauma or insect bites. Familial cases have led to the hypothesis of an association with specific human leukocyte antigen (HLA) phenotypes. While these factors all may be initiators of granuloma annulare, the mechanism of lesion formation has many possibilities. Current hypotheses include a delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction, a cell-mediated immune response, a cytokine-mediated breakdown of connective tissue, or a primary degeneration of connective tissue with an ensuing granulomatous inflammation.
L92.0 – Granuloma annulare
402364005 – Generalized granuloma annulare
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls
- Actinic granuloma produces annular plaques similar to those of granuloma annulare but is specifically located on sun-exposed skin.
- Necrobiosis lipoidica is characterized by shiny, red-brown plaques on the lower legs of diabetic patients that progressively become more yellow and atrophic with time.
- Tinea corporis may manifest as annular, erythematous plaques with surface changes of scaling, crusting, papules, or vesicles in the advancing border. Potassium hydroxide (KOH) preparation will show branching hyphae.
- Erythema migrans is the classic targetoid lesion of Lyme disease that shows concentric rings of erythema with central clearing.
- Erythema annulare centrifugum presents with annular and erythematous plaques with central clearing and a classic trailing scale at the inner rim of the plaque.
- Urticaria may present with annular plaques, but these lesions will be fleeting in nature, lasting less than 24 hours.
- Cutaneous sarcoidosis
- Exanthematous drug eruption
- Papular mucinosis
Drug Reaction Data