Herpesvirus Infection Masquerading as a Neoplasm in an HIV-Positive Patient: A Potential Diagnostic Pitfall

Am J Dermatopathol. 2023 May 1;45(5):333-336. doi: 10.1097/DAD.0000000000002402. Epub 2023 Mar 20.


Herpesvirus infection classically presents as a clustered, vesicular rash over mild erythema. However, unusual presentations may mimic tumors and be a potential pitfall. We describe the case of a 55-year-old HIV positive woman with this unusual manifestation of a common disease which was initially diagnosed as a benign neoplasm. Review of pathology revealed histologic features characteristic of this form of herpesvirus eruption. Awareness of this rare clinical and microscopic presentation is important to guide appropriate use of immunostains, prevent misdiagnosis, and promptly institute of antiviral therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity*
  • Herpesviridae Infections* / complications
  • Herpesviridae Infections* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms*