Herpes simplex

    Clinical Features:

    • Caused by the viruses HSV-1 (generally causing herpes labialis, transmitted by oral contact) and HSV-2 (generally causing genital herpes, sexually transmitted)
    • Grouped, painful, tense vesicles on an erythematous base
    • Following the acute eruption, latency occurs in the dorsal root ganglia, and recurrent outbreaks may occur throughout the life of the patient.

    Histologic Features:

    • "Steel gray" keratinocyte nuclei
    • Multinucleated keratinocytes with margination of chromatin ("pomegranates")
    • Eosinophilic nuclear inclusions surrounded by clear haloes
    • Intracellular edema and ballooning degeneration
    • Acantholysis
    • Intraepidermal vesiculation
    • Dense mixed dermal infiltrate consisting of lymphocytes, neutrophils and eosinophils
    • Sometimes inflammation of nerve twigs and/or vasculitis is seen.
    External Links:

    Cases associated with this book:

  • Herpes simplex
    Author: Stephen Lyle, M.D., Ph.D.

    Conference: DermatopathologyConsultations.com Teaching Collection