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Dupuytren’s contracture is associated with sprouting of substance P positive nerve fibres and infiltration by mast cells
  1. T E O Schubert1,
  2. C Weidler2,
  3. N Borisch3,
  4. C Schubert1,
  5. F Hofstädter1,
  6. R H Straub2
  1. 1Department of Pathology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
  3. 3Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Regensburg, Bad Abbach, Germany
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr T E O Schubert
    Department of Pathology, University of Regensburg, Franz-Josef-Strauss-Allee 11, 93053 Regensburg, Germany; thomas.schubert{at}

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Dupuytren’s contracture is a benign proliferative disease of connective tissue. It is characterised by an abnormal fibroblast proliferation and matrix deposition affecting the palmar fascia. There is evidence of genetic predisposition, but the precise cause remains unclear.1 Inflammatory infiltration of palmar tissue from Dupuytren’s contracture has been reported by several authors, who concluded that Dupuytren’s contracture may be a chronic inflammatory disease.2–4

To support the inflammatory hypothesis of Dupuytren’s contracture we characterised inflammatory elements such as nerve fibres and mast cells in palmar fascias affected by Dupuytren’s contracture. We compared 10 specimens from normal palmar fascia excised from subjects with idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome (age 37–73 years) with 20 specimens from patients with fascias affected by Dupuytren’s contracture (age 48–78 years). Patients with diabetes or alcoholism were excluded from the study in order to avoid neuropathic alterations. Immunohistochemical stains were performed on paraffin embedded tissue. After antigen …

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  • Competing interest. None.