Verrucous herpes virus infection in human immunodeficiency virus patients

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1996 Oct;120(10):956-8.


Objective: Two cases of varicella-zoster virus infection that were clinically and pathologically verrucous are reported. Although this phenomenon has previously been described in the dermatology literature, it has not, to our knowledge, been described in the pathology literature. It is important that pathologists are aware of these uncommon but histologically distinctive lesions.

Data sources: The patients were seen and treated at the Departments of Dermatology of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, Tex. All information was derived from the medical records and from the attending physicians.

Conclusions: Verrucous lesions of herpes (varicella) zoster virus infection are rare, but they do occur in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Clinically, the lesions studied resembled ordinary papillomavirus-induced verrucae. Histologically, there was verrucoid epidermal hyperplasia and, unlike ordinary lesions of herpes (varicella) zoster, very little inflammation of the dermis. Diagnostic multinucleated keratinocytes with herpesvirus cytopathic changes were present within the stratum corneum.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / diagnosis*
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / drug therapy
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / pathology
  • Acyclovir / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chickenpox / complications*
  • Chickenpox / diagnosis*
  • Chickenpox / drug therapy
  • Chickenpox / pathology
  • Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / pathology
  • Male


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Acyclovir