Generalized Essential Telangiectasia Workup

Updated: Dec 15, 2017
  • Author: David Green, MD, PA; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Laboratory Studies

Laboratory test results in generalized essential telangiectasia patients are normal.


Histologic Findings

Microscopically, capillary telangiectases consist of thin-walled ectatic vessels in the dermis, usually in the superficial portion subjacent to the epidermal-dermal junction. They are devoid of muscular, elastic, and adventitial components, and the endothelial cells are alkaline phosphatase negative, all typical features of the venous portion of the capillary loop. Ultrastructural analyses of the vessels are consistent with the telangiectases developing from the existing microvasculature—no evidence of neovascularization is apparent. [17]

These findings are in contrast to those found in the walls of normal terminal arterioles and capillary loops and the telangiectases associated with dermatomyositis, in which the endothelium is alkaline phosphatase positive. These features indicate that the telangiectases of generalized essential telangiectasia are derived from the venous portion of the capillary loop or that the anatomic construction has been altered and the biochemical activity, ie, alkaline phosphatase, has been lost as a consequence of the disease.

In one report, no estrogen or progesterone receptors were present in measurable levels in the single patient with generalized essential telangiectasia in whom tests were performed. Estrogen and progesterone receptors have not been found in randomly occurring telangiectases of the lower extremity.