Primary Anetoderma and Acquired Cutis Laxa Associated with Glomerulonephritis in a 37-year-old Filipino Male: A Case Report

  • Val Constantine S. Cua Department of Dermatology, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila
  • Eileen Liesl A. Cubillan Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine and Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila
Keywords: anetoderma, cutis laxa, glomerulonephritis


A 37-year-old Filipino man presented with a 9-month history of sagging skin progressing cephalocaudally from the chin and neck to the axillae, side of the trunk, and pelvic area. This was followed by a 2-month history of increasing serum creatinine levels associated with periorbital and bipedal edema, generalized weakness, decreased appetite, vomiting, and headache. Subsequently, skin-colored, non-tender sac-like plaques appeared on the abdomen, inguinal, and intergluteal areas. Histopathology of the latter lesions showed increased spaces between collagen bundles in the dermis. Staining with Verhoeff-van Gieson revealed focal sparse elastic fibers in the papillary dermis compared to that of the reticular dermis consistent with anetoderma. Further work-up revealed normal ANA titer and low serum C3. Kidney biopsy showed IgG deposition in the tubular basement membrane and trace C3 deposition in the glomerular mesangium, giving a diagnosis of rapid progressive glomerulonephritis. On subsequent follow-up, the sac-like plaques became lax and presented as generalized wrinkling of the skin, raising the question whether cutis laxa and anetoderma are occurring in a spectrum instead as distinct entities. Based on the current review of literature, this is the first reported case of primary anetoderma co-occurring with cutis laxa in a patient with glomerulonephritis. Deposition of immunoglobulins along the elastic fibers could have activated the complement system, mediating the destruction of the elastic fibers, resulting to cutis laxa and anetoderma. This case also considers the possibility of anetoderma and type I acquired cutis laxa occurring either in a spectrum or as distinct diseases in a single patient. Further investigations may identify an ultrastructural pattern that can help differentiate the two entities.