Type D lymphomatoid papulosis with pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta-like features in a child with parvovirus infection: a controversial diagnosis in the spectrum of lymphoid proliferations: case report and literature review

Ital J Pediatr. 2022 Oct 28;48(1):183. doi: 10.1186/s13052-022-01371-x.


Background: Lymphomatoid papulosis (LyP) is a rare condition in pediatrics; LyP histological type D has been reported in only 7 children. The differential diagnosis of LyP in the spectrum of lymphoid proliferation remains controversial.

Case presentation: A 6-year-old boy presented to Emergency Department with a 3-week history of an erythematous papulo-vesicular itchy eruption over the submandibular regions, trunk and extremities. History, symptoms and laboratory tests were unremarkable. SARS-CoV-2 antigen was negative. The clinical suspicion of pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta (PLEVA) was posed, and topical steroids were introduced. One week after, he returned with an extensive painful scaly papulo-erythematous rash, with some ulcerated and necrotic lesions, and fever; therefore the child was hospitalized. Biochemical results were within reference limits, except for high level of C-reactive protein, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine transaminase and bilirubin. Due to a persistently high fever, systemic corticosteroid treatment was administered, with a good clinical response and an improvement of the skin lesions. Anti-PVB-19 Immunoglobulin M was detected. Elevated levels of IL-6, IL-10 and IFN-γ were also recorded. Five days post-admission, most of the lesions had cleared, and the child was discharged. Methotrexate was started, with a positive response. At skin biopsy a "PLEVA-like" pattern was apparent, with a dense, wedge shaped lymphoid infiltrate featuring epidermotropism and morphologically comprising pleomorphic and blastic cells. The pattern of infiltration was highlighted by immunohistochemical stains, which prove the process to feature a CD8+/CD30 + phenotype, the latter being intense on larger cells, with antigenic loss. Polymerase chain reaction for T-cell receptor gamma (TCRG) chain clonality assessment documented a monoclonal peak. A diagnosis of LyP type D was favored.

Conclusion: The reported case encompasses most of the critical features of two separated entities-PLEVA and LyP-thus providing further support to the concept of them representing declinations within a sole spectrum of disease. Studying the role of infectious agents as trigger potential in lymphoproliferative cutaneous disorders and detecting novel markers of disease, such as cytokines, could have a crucial impact on pathogenic disease mechanisms and perspective therapies.

Keywords: CD8+/CD30+; Children; Cytokine profile; Lymphomatoid papulosis; Lymphoproliferative cutaneous disorders; Parvovirus B19; Type D; pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Lymphomatoid Papulosis* / diagnosis
  • Lymphomatoid Papulosis* / pathology
  • Male
  • Parvoviridae Infections*
  • Pityriasis Lichenoides* / diagnosis
  • Pityriasis Lichenoides* / drug therapy
  • SARS-CoV-2