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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 513-515  

Aplasia cutis congenita with two completely different presentations

1 Department of Dermatology Venereology and Leprosy, IPGMER and SSKM Hospitals, Kolkata, India
2 Department of Medicine, ESI PGIMS and R and ESIC Hospital and ODC (Eastern Zone), Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Date of Web Publication25-Jun-2014

Correspondence Address:
Sanchaita Bala
Rajpur Govt Colony, P:O South Jagaddal, South 24 Parganas, Kolkata - 151, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-2870.135294

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Aplasia cutis congenita is a rare disorder, which presents with congenital absence of skin. Besides isolated presentation, it may manifest with other developmental malformation of cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, genitourinary and central nervous systems, and malformation syndromes such as chromosomal abnormalities, Adams-Oliver syndrome, Bart's syndrome, and Johanson-Bilzzard syndrome. Here, we present two cases of aplasia cutis congenita, which represent two different types of the disease. The first case presented as non-syndromic aplasia cutis congenita of scalp, and the other case presented as a part of Bart's syndrome.

Keywords: Aplasia cutis, bart′s syndrome, collar sign

How to cite this article:
Bala S, Sen S, Jain A, Biswas AK. Aplasia cutis congenita with two completely different presentations. Med J DY Patil Univ 2014;7:513-5

How to cite this URL:
Bala S, Sen S, Jain A, Biswas AK. Aplasia cutis congenita with two completely different presentations. Med J DY Patil Univ [serial online] 2014 [cited 2023 Feb 1];7:513-5. Available from:

  Introduction Top

Aplasia cutis congenita is a disorder, which commonly involves the skin of the scalp and other areas but may involve the subcutaneous tissue, bone, and dura mater. Frieden's classification has described it in 9 types. [1] As per this classification, our cases belong to type1 [non-syndromic aplasia cutis congenita of the scalp] and type 6 or Bart's Syndrome [congenital absence of skin with epidermolysis bullosa], which is a very rare disorder. It represent antenatal loss of skin most commonly in association with dominant dystrophic type epidermolysis bullosa and also junctional and recessive epidermolysis bullosa simplex. [2]

  Case Reports Top

Case 1

A 7-day-old female baby presented with a solitary circular erythematous ulcer over scalp since birth [Figure 1]. Underlying bone was not affected. She had no other clinical sign and symptom suggestive of other abnormalities. No significant family history neither any history of drug exposure nor any infection in maternal side during pregnancy was present. Mother was primi-gravida, and there was no history of consanguity. The child was born by cesarian section Laboratory investigations showed normal complete hemogram, but echo-cardiography on day 3 showed atrial septal defect (ASD), ventricular septal defect (VSD), tricuspid regurgitation (TR), and pulmonary hypertension. Serous discharge from the lesion was sent for culture and sensitivity, but it did not showed growth of any organism. Skin biopsy was suggested, but parents refused the procedure. The baby has been treated with topical antibiotic, and on day 20, the lesions started to re-epithelialize. The parents have been asked to consult plastic surgeon later on.
Figure 1: Solitary erythematous ulcer over the scalp of the new born

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Case 2

A 15-day-old, pre-term, low birth weight female baby presented with large area of denuded skin involving the anterior aspect of right leg and knee and also chest, since birth [Figure 2]. Birth was by normal vaginal delivery. She was the 2 nd child of a couple. No history of consanguity was present. The other sibling was not affected. Her nails were normal. During presentation, the major part of the lesion had healed leaving behind atrophic scarring. Two bullous lesions were present, one over right great toe and another over right middle finger [Figure 3]. Other clinical examination findings were normal. History of recurrent bullous lesion, which healed by scarring over acral part, was present in mother [Figure 4], but no history of drug exposure and infection during her pregnancy could be elicitated. The parents refused skin biopsy. The baby was treated with topical antibiotic, and proper care of the wound was advised.
Figure 2: Denuded area of skin over anterior aspect of leg, knee, and chest of the neonate

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Figure 3: A bulla present over the great toe of the neonate

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Figure 4: Healed scar over dorsal surface of mother's hand

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  Discussion Top

Aplasia cutis congenita (ACC) is a multifactorial disease. It was first described by Cordon in 1767. [3] Some genetic disorders are found to be associated with aplasia cutis. Frieden's classification has described it in 9 types. Type 1 is non-syndromic aplasia cutis congenita of the scalp, type 2 is ACC with limb reduction abnormalities, type 3 is ACC with epidermal nevi, type 4 is congenital absence of skin overlying developmental malformations, type 5 is ACC with fetus papyraceous, type 6 is associated with epidermolysis bullosa, type 7 is isolated congenital absence of skin localized to the extremities, type 8 is caused by teratogens or intrauterine infection, type 9 occurs as a feature of malformation syndrome. Though the classification has described most of the factors, some authors proposed it as an incomplete type of neural tube defect due to presence of the collar sign, which is characteric of neural tube defect. [4]

Type 1, which is our first case, usually presents as single lesion. Most of the lesions appear over scalp, but involvement of trunk and extremities may occur. [5] Autosomal-dominant inheritance has been demonstrated. In autosomal-dominant ACCA, heterozygous Arg-to-His missense mutation in the ribosomal GTPase BMS1 is identified in ACC that is associated with a delay in 18S rRNA maturation, consistent with a role of BMS1 in processing of pre - rRNAs of the small ribosomal subunit. [6] The increased incidence over vertex point toward its occurrence over the area of maximum tensile strength during the period of rapid brain growth. [5],[7] Dilated scalp vein also indicates some vascular pathology. The lesions may be superficial or deep, ulcer or bulla, which heal with scarring. It should be distinguished from birth trauma, which occurs due to scalp electrode. [8]

The second case we are discussing is Bart's syndrome, which is an exceedingly rare disorder described in very few literature. [9] Bart et al. reported it as a dominantly inherited disorder characterized by wide spread blistering over skin and oral mucosa, congenital absence of skin over lower legs and nail dystrophy. [10] It is now considered as a non-specific feature of not only the dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa type but also junctional type with pyloric atresia and epidermolysis bullosa simplex variety. The ultrastructural studies revealed the substitution of glycine in type VII collagen. Zelickson analyzed Bart's kindred and demonstrated poorly formed anchoring fibrils and cleavage below the lamina densa on ultrastructural analysis. Lesions along the Blaschko's line have also been described. [11]

Histopathologial study of the skin shows the absence of epidermis and sometimes the dermis. Dermis, if present, usually lacks appendages and connective tissue. Where re-epithelialization occurs, epidermis appears flat, dermis is devoid of appendages, and hypertrophic scarring may also occur. [12] In familial cases, genetic counseling is needed. Prenatal diagnosis through amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling can be helpful to rule out junctional and dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa.

Lesions of ACC usually heal with conservative management. Skin grafting or other reconstructive surgery is needed when lesion is extensive. The two cases were managed conservatively showing good result.

We have described two cases of the same fascinating and rare neonatal disease with diverse manifestations.

  References Top

1.Frieden IJ. Aplasia cutis congenita: A clinical review and proposal for classifi cation. J Am Acad Dermatol 1986;14:646-60.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Charlesworth A, Gagnoux-Palacios L, Bonduelle M, Ortonne JP, De Raeve L, Meneguzzi G. Identification of a lethal form of epidermolysis bullosa simplex associated with a homozygous genetic mutation in plectin. J Invest Dermatol 2003;121:1344-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Moros Pena M, Labay Matias M, Valle Sanchez F, Valero Adan T, Martin-Calama Valero J, Munoz Albillos M. Aplasia cutis congenita in a newborn: Etiopathogenic review and diagnostic approach. An Esp Pediatr 2000;52:453-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Colon-Fontanez F, Fallon-Friedlander S, Newbury R, Eichenfield LF. Bullous aplasia cutis congenita. J Am Acad Dermatol 2003;48:S95-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Abulezz TA, Shalkamy MA. Aplasia cutis congenita: Two cases of non-scalp lesions. Indian J Plast Surg 2009;42:261-4.  Back to cited text no. 5
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6.Marneros AG. BMS1 is mutated in aplasia cutis congenita. PLoS Genet 2013;9:e1003573.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Stephan MJ, Smith DW, Ponzi JW, Alden ER. Origin of scalp vertex aplasia cutis. J Pediatr 1982;101:850-3.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Brown ZA, Jung AL, Stenchever MA. Aplasia cutis congenita and the fetal scalp electrode. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1977;129:351-2.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Rajpal A, Mishra R, Hajirnis K, Shah M, Nagpur N. Bart's Syndrome. Indian J Dermatol 2008;53:88-90.  Back to cited text no. 9
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
10.Bart BJ, Gorlin RJ, Anderson VE, Lynch FW. Congenital localised absence of skin and associated abnormalities resembling epidermolysis bullosa: A new syndrome. Arch Dermatol 1966;93:296-304.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.McKinster CD, Franco AR, Tamayo L, de la Luz Orozco-Covarrubias M, Ruiz-Madonando R. Bart syndrome: The congenital localized absence of skin may follow the lines of blashko, report of six cases. Pediatr Dermatol 2000;17:179-82.  Back to cited text no. 11
12. Farmer AW, Maxmen MD. Congenital absence of skin. Plast Reconstr Surg 1960;25:291-7.  Back to cited text no. 12


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]


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