ISSN : 2146-3123
E-ISSN : 2146-3131

Ultrastructural Alterations in the Epidermis of Patients with Tinea Pedis
Yurdagül Canberk 1, Bülent Ahıshalı 2, Funda Durmaz Onar 2, Ebru Karabulut 2
1Department Histology and Embryology, Çapa Medical Faculty of İstanbul University, İstanbul
2Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, İstanbul University, İstanbul, Turkey
DOI : 10.5174/tutfd.2009.03515.3
Pages : 151-156


Objective: Tinea pedis is the most common superficial fungal infection of the foot. Although light microscopic characteristics of tinea pedis have already been described and are well known, electron microscopic data is still lacking. In this study, we aimed to examine the ultrastructural changes in the epidermis of patients diagnosed with tinea pedis.

Material and Methods: Biopsies were taken from the lesions between the toes of patients with untreated tinea pedis and from healthy volunteers with no fungal infections. The materials obtained were prepared for electron microscopy and examined by transmission electron microscope.

Results: The ultrastructural examination revealed the following changes: (1) Disturbances in the form and organization of keratinocytes; (2) Irregular distribution and interlacing of tonofilament bundles in keratinocytes; (3) Disruption of desmosomes and detachment of adjoining keratinocytes; (4) Excessive widening of intercellular spaces between keratinocytes; (5) Dilatation of intercellular spaces between basal cells; (6) Degranulation of melanocytes in the stratum basale; (7) Migration of lymphocytes and polymorphonuclear leukocytes between keratinocytes in the stratum spinosum; (8) Degradation of basal lamina; (9) Pericapillary edema in the apillary dermis.

Conclusion: The ultrastructural findings in tinea pedis are described and related to the clinical symptoms and histopathologic features of the disease.

Keywords : Tinea pedis, transmission electron microscopy, epidermis, keratinocyte
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