Real-Time Confocal Imaging for Hidradenitis Suppurativa: Description of Morphological Aspects and Focus on the Role of Follicular Ostia

Simone Cappilli, Giulia Giovanardi, Alessandro Di Stefani, Caterina Longo, Carmela Longo, Franco Perino, Andrea Chiricozzi, Ketty Peris

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Background: Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, recurrent, inflammatory skin disease involving the follicular unit. Growing evidence suggests a crucial role of hyperkeratosis, infundibular plugging and perifolliculitis in its pathogenesis. Objectives: To characterize the microscopic morphology of open comedos using in vivo reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) and define alterations occurring in HS normal-Appearing perilesional skin compared to healthy skin of a control group, discussing therefore microscopic differences. Materials and Methods: Twenty patients (11 males, 9 females; aged 19-51 years) affected by HS were recruited. RCM was performed on open comedos of axillary/inguinal regions and on normal-Appearing skin areas distant at least 1.5 cm from HS lesions. Ten healthy individuals (6 males, 4 females) were included as control group. Results: RCM aspects of 78 open comedos were explored, observing circular/ovoidal structures disclosing a hyperrefractive amorphous material (72/78, 92.3%) within the infundibular cavity surrounded with a bright (51/78, 65.4%) and regular (52/78, 66.2%) border. Follicular ostia of HS perilesional skin (n = 541) compared to follicular ostia of a control group (n = 321) were characterized by a larger infundibular diameter (183.4 vs. 85.8 μm) and diverged in terms of material collected inside infundibula (44.5 vs. 21%) and keratinization of the border (47.6 vs. 25.5%). Conclusion: In vivo characterization of open comedos and the recognition of microscopic subclinical alterations of HS normal-Appearing skin, compared to healthy skin, could add further insights into the definition of biological events leading to HS manifestations, including the dysregulated process of keratinization.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-7-7
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • Comedos
  • Digital imaging
  • Follicular units
  • Hidradenitis suppurativa
  • Reflectance confocal microscopy


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