Lymphadenosis benigna cutis resulting from Borrelia infection (Borrelia lymphocytoma)

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1991 Apr;24(4):621-5. doi: 10.1016/0190-9622(91)70095-j.


Swelling and erythema of the right pinna developed in a 7-year-old girl. Six months later a biopsy specimen showed a dense, diffuse lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate involving most of the dermis except for a thin Grenz zone. The appearance was consistent with lymphocytoma cutis. She had been bitten by a tick on the right ear in Switzerland 6 weeks before the onset of the lesion. Serologic tests by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for Borrelia burgdorferi, done 6 and 11 months after the bite, yielded optical density readings of 1.04 and 0.65, respectively; indirect immunofluorescence yielded titers of 1:256 and 1:128. A Borrelia-like organism was identified by a modified Steiner stain; immunohistochemistry was noncontributory. The spirochetal origin of lymphadenosis benigna cutis is briefly reviewed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis
  • Biopsy
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / immunology
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / isolation & purification
  • Child
  • Ear Diseases / etiology
  • Ear Diseases / pathology
  • Ear, External*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lyme Disease / diagnosis
  • Lyme Disease / pathology*
  • Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Skin Diseases / etiology
  • Skin Diseases / pathology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial