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A scleroderma-like cutaneous syndrome associated with a marked Th2-type immune response occurring after a prosthetic joint impla

Posted Mar 20 2011 9:23am
A scleroderma-like cutaneous syndrome, occurring after implantation of a prosthetic knee joint in an elderly woman, is reported. This case did not seem to typically fit into any of the known scleroderma-like disorders of the skin described to date. The patient was shown to be sensitized to metals contained in the prosthesis and to mount a Th2-type immune response concomitantly with development of skin fibrosis. In particular, eosinophilia, markedly elevated serum IgE levels, in vitro spontaneous production of interleukin (IL)-4 by T lymphocytes, and elevated serum levels of Th2 cytokines (namely, IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13) were observed during the acute phase of illness. Since eosinophils and such Th2 cytokines as IL-13 also have recognized fibrogenic properties, it is speculated that the pathogenesis of skin fibrosis in this case could have been the direct and/or indirect consequence of the coexisting Th2-type immune response.

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