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Skin-nontumor / Clinical Dermatology

Infectious disorders

Molluscum contagiosum

Reviewer: Mowafak Hamodat MB.CH.B, MSc., FRCPC, Eastern Health, St. Johns (Canada) (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 9 September 2011, last major update March 2011
Copyright: (c) 2002-2011, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Infectious disorder caused by molluscum contagiosum poxvirus
● Multiple nodules on skin, trunk or anogenital region, due to skin to skin contact or sexual transmission

Clinical description

● Multiple firm, pruritic, pink-tan nodules, up to 4 mm, with central cores containing white keratinous material

Clinical images

Raised, firm, flesh colored nodules

Micro description

● Lobulated endophytic hyperplasia that produces a circumscribed intradermal pseudotumor
● Molluscum bodies are present (large cells with cytoplasmic, faintly granular eosinophilic inclusions that displace nuclei and contain viral particles); made more conspicuous with Lendrumís phloxine tartrazine reaction
● May have intense dermal lymphocytic infiltrate that suggests lymphoma
● Rarely metaplastic ossification

Micro images

Various images

Contributed by Dr. Julia Braza, Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts-abdominal skin of 29 year old man

Contributed by Angel Fernandez-Flores, MD, PhD, Hospital El Bierzo and Clinica Ponferrada, Spain: various images

Contributed by Dr. Mowafak Hamodat MB.CH.B, MSc., FRCPC, Eastern Health, St. Johns (Canada)

Virtual slides

Molluscum contagiosum

Differential diagnosis

● Keratoacanthoma, fibrous histiocytoma, intradermal melanocytic nevus, syringoma, basal cell carcinoma, common wart, and cutaneous cryptococcosis

End of Skin-nontumor / Clinical Dermatology > Infectious disorders > Molluscum contagiosum

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