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August 2019

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1993 Nov; 29(5 Pt 2): 833-7.

Localized argyria with chrysiasis caused by implanted acupuncture needles. Distribution and chemical forms of silver and gold in cutaneous tissue by electron microscopy and x-ray microanalysis.

Suzuki H, Baba S, Uchigasaki S, Murase M.

Department of Dermatology, Surugadai Nihon University Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.

A case of localized argyria with chrysiasis caused by implanted acupuncture needles in a 41-year-old Japanese woman was studied by electron microscopy and x-ray microanalysis. Large amounts of silver granules with selenium and sulfur were detected around eccrine secretory cells in much greater amounts than around ductal cells. Many granules were also observed along the outer edge of the basement membrane but never within cells or intercellular spaces. The granules were also present around blood vessels, lymphatics and nerve fibers, and in elastic fibers. Small numbers of gold fragments were also seen, mostly within macrophages. These results suggest that silver deposits extracellularly as selenide and sulfide, whereas free gold is found intracellularly.


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