Dermatopathic lymphadenitis with generalized erythroderma in a patient with epstein-barr virus-associated hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis

Am J Dermatopathol. 2010 Jun;32(4):357-61. doi: 10.1097/DAD.0b013e3181b2a50f.


Here, we describe a patient with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) who simultaneously presented with generalized erythroderma and dermatopathic lymphadenitis (DL). A 63-year-old Korean woman presented at our hospital with fever, hepatosplenomegaly, axillary lymphadenopathy, and generalized erythrodermic eruption. The bone marrow biopsy findings were consistent with the diagnosis of HLH, and EBV DNA was detected using the polymerase chain reaction. Based on serologic tests that indicated a primary EBV infection, the patient was diagnosed with EBV-associated HLH. Histopathologic analysis of enlarged lymph nodes was consistent with DL, and EBV-encoded small nuclear RNA-positive mononuclear cells were detected. We assume that activated histiocytes, lymphocytes, and proinflammatory cytokines in HLH may have important roles in the development of generalized erythroderma and DL. Disrupted epidermal/dermal junctions owing to erythroderma may also be involved in the development of DL.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Cyclosporine / administration & dosage
  • Dermatitis, Exfoliative / drug therapy
  • Dermatitis, Exfoliative / pathology*
  • Dermatitis, Exfoliative / virology
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / complications*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / pathology
  • Etoposide / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphadenitis / drug therapy
  • Lymphadenitis / pathology*
  • Lymphadenitis / virology
  • Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic / drug therapy
  • Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic / pathology*
  • Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic / virology
  • Middle Aged


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Etoposide
  • Dexamethasone
  • Cyclosporine