Clin Nephrol 2006 Dec;66(6):472-5
Charité, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Medizinische Klinik IV, Nephrology, Hindenburgamm 30, 12200 Berlin, Germany.
Background: In end-stage renal disease patients, the incidence of both infections and malignancies is increased leading to a higher incidence of peripheral lymphadenopathy. In the present work we describe a rare but probably underdiagnosed cause for enlarged lymph nodes in uremic patients.
Patient: A 43-year-old male patient was admitted to our hospital with inguinal lymphadenopathy and pruritus. He turned out to be uremic due to focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (creatinine 4.5 mg/dl, MDRD creatinine clearance 12 ml/min).
Findings: Sonography revealed enlarged lymph nodes (up to 4 cm) with intact corticohilar border differentiation. After extirpation of an inguinal lymph node, histological examination established the diagnosis of dermatopathic lymphadenopathy. T cell lymphoma was excluded by PCR for T cell receptor-gamma rearrangements and subsequent GeneScan analysis. Intravenous fluid supplementation with subsequent decline of creatinine, UVB treatment, clemastine, and topical use of emollients led to a relief of the uremic pruritus and the lymph nodes' size normalized within 8 weeks.
Conclusion: Dermatopathic lymphadenopathy refers to the reactive condition seen in lymph nodes that drain areas with disruption of the skin integrity, e.g. due to scratch marks. The present case report describes dermatopathic lymphadenopathy as a harmless cause of enlarged lymph nodes in uremic pruritus for the first time. This entity should be considered in the differential diagnosis of peripheral lymphadenopathy of unknown origin in patients with renal failure.