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Grover's disease (transient and persistent acantholytic dermatosis)

Helge Riemann, MD
Whitney A High, MD
Section Editor
Robert P Dellavalle, MD, PhD, MSPH
Deputy Editor
Rosamaria Corona, MD, DSc


In 1970, Ralph Grover presented a series of six patients with a pruritic, papular, and/or papulovesicular rash upon the trunk that cleared within weeks [1]. Histopathologic analysis revealed a characteristic pattern of acantholysis within the epidermis, and Grover named the disease "transient acantholytic dermatosis." Subsequent reports described an often chronic course, but essentially identical histologic findings, and the term "transient and persistent acantholytic dermatosis" was proposed [2,3]. However, the eponym, "Grover's disease," remains in wide use.


The prevalence and incidence of Grover's disease have not been firmly established. In a study from Switzerland, Grover's disease was diagnosed in just 24 of more than 30,000 skin biopsies [4].

It is thought that Grover's disease affects chiefly white adults in the fifth decade or later and appears to be approximately 1.6 to 2.1 times more common in men than in women [5,6]. Grover's disease appears less common in darker-skinned individuals but has been reported [5].


The etiology of Grover's disease is unknown. Suspected triggers of disease activity include heat and sweating, sunlight, ionizing irradiation, end-stage renal disease/hemodialysis, mechanical irritation or prolonged bedrest, and solid organ transplantation [7-10].

Some cases of Grover's disease have been associated with medications, such as sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, ribavirin, anastrozole, interleukin-4, cetuximab, BRAF inhibitors (eg, vemurafenib, dabrafenib), and immune checkpoint inhibitors (eg, ipilimumab) [1,11-22]. (See "Cutaneous side effects of molecularly targeted therapy and other biologic agents used for cancer therapy", section on 'Vemurafenib and dabrafenib'.)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Dec 05, 2017.
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