Erythronychia longitudinalis; L60.9 L60.8

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 20.12.2021

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Erythronychia longitudinale; Solitary Erythronychia longitudinalis

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Baran, 2000

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Descriptive term for a not uncommon, solitary (more rarely) or multiple occurring, longitudinal, red longitudinal striation of the nail plate, which can occur on the nails of the hands and (more rarely) the feet.

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Pathological change with thinning of the nail matrix so that the nail matrix becomes more transparent. Solitary erythronychia occurs idiopathically and in tumors of the nail bed (glomus tumor, carcinoma in situ; onychopapilloma; amelanotic melanoma).

Multiple longitudinal striations in several or many nails (polydactyly erythronychia longitudinalis) are detected in systemic diseases, such as lichen planus, Darier's disease, primary amyloidosis, graft-versus-host disease, hemiplegia, and others.

Clinical features
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Occurring mainly on the fingernails (less frequently on the toenails), predominantly solitary, usually painless, red longitudinal or diffuse red discoloration of the nail plate. In this case, the nail plate is often retracted in a V-shape at its free end in the longitudinal strip, thinned out and is accompanied by a keratosis lying underneath it. Not infrequently, erythronychia is underlain by splinter hemorrhage. Occasionally 2-3 longitudinal stripes can be observed in one nail, then usually also multiple occurrences on other nails (polydactyly erythronychia longitudinalis).

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Clinic is diagnostic; Possibly histological clarification of a tumorous process of the nail root. Cave! Nail dystrophy!

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A causal therapy is not possible. Cut nails short.

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  1. Baran R, Perrin C (2000) Longitudinal erythronychia with distal subungual keratosis: onychopapilloma of the nail bed and Bowen`s disease. Br J Dermatol 143: 132-135
  2. Berker D et al (2004) Localized longitudinal erythronychia. Arch Dermatol 140: 1253-1257
  3. Haneke E (2013) Nail diseases. dermatologist 64: 519-532


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Last updated on: 20.12.2021