Background: High-variable-frequency ultrasound is used as an imaging tool for various cutaneous disorders. We utilized this tool in pachyonychia congenita (PC) patients, who typically present with plantar hyperkeratosis and often severely debilitating pain, compared to patients with epidermolytic palmoplantar keratoderma (EPPK) and mal de Meleda (MDM). Objective: To ascertain the feasibility of ultrasound technology for the diagnosis of PC. Methods: The study included a total of 16 patients, 7 with PC, 5 with EPPK and 4 with MDM, who underwent ultrasound examination of the plantar skin with high-resolution multifrequency ultrasound equipment. Results: Ultrasound scans performed over the proximal and distal plantar foot calluses in PC patients demonstrated hyperechoic dots and lines within the epidermis compatible with hyperkeratosis, engorged varicose veins in the dermis and an anechoic layer interposed between the epidermis and the dermis, corresponding to blister fluid below the calluses. In contrast to PC patients, patients with MDM and EPPK demonstrated no blisters. Conclusion: PC patients, as opposed to a group of patients with MDM and EPPK, displayed subepidermal blistering beneath their calluses. This finding may help in the diagnosis of PC and in partially explaining plantar pain as part of PC symptomatology.
- High-resolution multifrequency ultrasound
- Pachyonychia congenita
- Palmoplantar keratoderma