|Year : 2014 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 147-149
Annular erythema of infancy: A diagnostic challenge
Abhijit Saha1, Joly Seth1, Samipa Mukherjee2, Suprit Basu3
1 Department of Dermatology, STD and Leprosy, Burdwan Medical College, Burdwan, India
2 Department of Dermatology, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore, India
3 Department of Pediatrics, Dr. B. C. Roy Post Graduate institute of Paediatric Sciences, Kolkata West Bengal, India
|Date of Web Publication||30-Oct-2014|
46/4, Swarnamoyee Road, P.O: Berhampore, Murshidabad, 742 101, West Bengal
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Annular erythemas in infancy are uncommon to rare in occurreance. Erythema migrans is the most common variety to be reported amidst the younger age group. This group of conditions poses a diagnostic challenge to the physician as the differentials can range from a benign annular erythema of infancy with good prognosis and no long-term defects to neonatal lupus erythematosus (NLE) having a bad prognosis with increased morbidity and mortality. We report a case of annular erythema of infancy in a 5 day old male infant to emphasize that in spite of the history of spontaneous abortions in the mother, which pointed towards a more grave diagnosis of NLE, benign conditions like annular erythema of infancy needs to be kept in mind.
Keywords: Annular erythema of infancy, benign, maternal history of abortions
|How to cite this article:|
Saha A, Seth J, Mukherjee S, Basu S. Annular erythema of infancy: A diagnostic challenge. Indian J Paediatr Dermatol 2014;15:147-9
|How to cite this URL:|
Saha A, Seth J, Mukherjee S, Basu S. Annular erythema of infancy: A diagnostic challenge. Indian J Paediatr Dermatol [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Mar 29];15:147-9. Available from: http://www.ijpd.in/text.asp?2014/15/3/147/143678
| Introduction|| |
Annular erythema is a broad term used to describe lesions which are annular, circinate, serpiginous, arcuate or coin like. The annular erythemas have a tendency to slowly evolve centrifugally or can remain fixed depending on its etiology. In dermatology the classical annular erythemas described are erythema gyratum repens, erythema annulare centrifugum, and erythema marginatum and erythema chronicum migrans.  In addition to this, other entity which has been added is annular erythema of infancy. This is an idiopathic, self-resolving, uncommon condition. Various causes of annular erythematous lesions in the first few weeks of life include neonatal lupus erythematosus (NLE), erythema annulare centrifugum, annular erythema of infancy, familial annular erythema, tinea corporis, acute urticarial and erythema atrophicans transiens neonatal. ,,,,,
| Case report|| |
A 5 day old male child born at term, of nonconsanguineous marriage was admitted with skin lesions all over body predominantly over the trunk and face since the 2 nd day of life.
The mother was a multigravida with history of 2 abortions at 12 and 16 weeks in the past, however the causes for which were not evaluated. She was healthy and asymptomatic. There was no history suggestive of any connective tissue disease.
Clinical examination revealed an alert, euglycemic infant weighing 3.2 kg with good reflexes. Cutaneous examination revealed multiple brightly erythematous, annular plaques distributed over the chest, back, arms and thighs including the face [Figure 1]. The expanding borders of the lesions were palpable, and there was no detectable scaling or atrophy [Figure 2] and [Figure 3]. Individual lesions were persistent and enlarging since their appearance.
|Figure 1: Erythematous, annular plaques distributed over the chest, back, arms and thighs and face|
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Considering the clinical examination and history a provisional diagnosis of the annular variant of NLE was considered and investigations were carried out.
Routine blood investigations in the child revealed a raised total leucocyte count with the blood culture showing growth of Klebsiella organisms. The mother was evaluated for Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome and connective tissue disease which were negative. The Venereal Disease Research Laboratory test done on mother and baby was negative. Anti Ro-SSA/La-SSB antibodies were also negative in the mother and child. Cardiac screening of the child did not reveal any heart blocks. A biopsy of the skin lesion was done, revealed a superficial and deep perivascular lympho-histiocytic inflammatory infiltrate. A skin scraping done from the lesions was negative for fungal elements.
While inward many lesions underwent spontaneous resolution. The diagnosis was revised as annular erythema of infancy, and the child was treated with Injectable piperacillin and amikacin in view of the gram negative septicemia and was discharged in stable condition with topical application of emollients alone.
| Discussion|| |
Annular erythemas in infancy pose a diagnostic challenge and dilemma to the clinician. They range from benign self-resolving conditions like annular erythema of infancy to life-threatening and poor outcome conditions like NLE thereby making the diagnosis of the condition imperative. Clinically, annular erythemas of infancy can be distinguished by mode of onset, evolution, distribution and morphology of skin lesions, associated features and family history.
In view of some of the authors, an anti Ro anti La antibody test should be performed in all cases of annular skin lesions in infancy along with cardiac screening with electrocardiogram to avoid missing out on cases of NLE. 
Another case reported in India shows the importance of a KOH examination of the scales in an infant, which turned the diagnosis to tinea corporis from NLE thus implying the necessity to rule out infections in an infant with annular lesions. 
Annular erythema of infancy is a relatively recently described entity in 1981 by Peterson and Jarratt.  It is a benign condition characterized by the cyclical eruption of annular, erythematous lesions with minimal scaling which resolve spontaneously in a few weeks without any atrophy or pigmentary disturbances. This condition although classified under the transient annular erythemas, has shown to have relapsing courses up to 1-year of age. There have been reports of the condition being persistent until 1-year of age followed by spontaneous resolution with no sequelae. It has been hypothesized that annular erythema of infancy may be a hypersensitivity reaction to an unidentified antigen, although the etiology largely remains unknown.
The other causes of annular erythemas of infancy need to be excluded by investigations like KOH examination of the scales, anti-Ro/La antibody titers, histopathology and a cardiac screening of the infant.
Treatment of the condition remains simple with reassurance to the family and mere emollients as it is a condition with no harmful outcomes.
Annular erythema in a neonate poses a challenge to the diagnostic skills of the clinician with a dilemma as to which ones require treatment and which don't. When we worked up the case, we learnt that in spite of the history of spontaneous abortions in the mother, which pointed towards a more grave diagnosis of, benign conditions like annular erythema of infancy needs to be kept in mind.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]