Cutaneous Destombes-Rosai-Dorfman disease: absence of detection of HHV-6 and HHV-8 in skin

J Cutan Pathol. 2002 Feb;29(2):113-8. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0560.2002.290209.x.


Background: We report three new cases of cutaneous Destombes-Rosai-Dorfman disease (DRDD). Two were skin-limited, and one was associated with systemic involvement. In all cases typical large S100 positive macrophages with emperipolesis were present, but different patterns were seen. A viral etiology has long been suspected in DRDD.

Methods: Thus, all cases were investigated for presence of HHV-6 major capsid protein gene by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and for presence of HHV-8 latency-associated nuclear antigen 1 by immunohistochemistry.

Results: All results were negative. HHV-6 antibody tests were positive for IgG but not for IgM in one case. With regard to HHV-6, previous studies supplied inconclusive results while, to our knowledge, HHV-8 has never been investigated in DRDD.

Conclusion: This study suggests that HHV-8 is not involved in the pathogenesis of cutaneous DRDD. However, this should be confirmed by further studies. We can postulate three hypotheses in regard to HHV-6 role in DRDD pathogenesis: 1) its presence in lesionnal tissues is fortuitous, 2) HHV-6 plays a role in promoting more aggressive diseases and 3) various causes, including HHV-6, are implicated in the pathogenesis of DRDD.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Histiocytosis, Sinus / blood
  • Histiocytosis, Sinus / etiology
  • Histiocytosis, Sinus / pathology
  • Histiocytosis, Sinus / virology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / virology