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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 36, n° 6
pages 908-913 (juin 1997)
Doi : 10.1016/S0190-9622(97)80270-8
accepted : 30 November 1996

Nail lichen striatus: Clinical features and long-term follow-up of five patients

Antonella Tosti, MD , Anna Maria Peluso, MD, Cosimo Misciali, MD, Nortna Cameli, MD
 Department of Demnatology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy 

*Reprint requests: Antonella Tosti, Istituto di Clinica Dermatologica, Via Massarenti, 1-40138 Bologna, Italy.

Nail involvement in lichen striatus (LS) is uncommon and has always been reported in association with typical skin lesions.


We attempted to characterize the clinical and pathologic features and the long-term prognosis of nail LS.


Five cases of LS of the nail including three cases with exclusive nail involvement were evaluated and the literature reviewed.


Biopsy specimens showed a moderately dense bandlike lymphohistiocytic infiltrate affecting the proximal nailfold, the nail bed, and the nail matrix dermis. Exocytosis with slight spongiosis, focal hypergranulosis, and dyskeratotic cells were detectable in the nail matrix epithelium. Spontaneous regression of the onychodystrophy occurred after 4 to 12 months from the time of diagnosis (mean, 8.4 months).


Nail LS is not necessarily associated with skin lesions but can also be an isolated finding. The diagnosis of nail LS should be strongly suspected when a child or a young patient presents with lichen planus-like nail abnormalities localized to the lateral or medial portion of a single nail.

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