Which microscopic findings are characteristic of scarlet fever?

Updated: Jun 21, 2019
  • Author: Bahman Sotoodian, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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The microscopic findings of the eruption of scarlet fever are nonspecific and have an appearance similar to that of other exanthematous eruptions. A sparse neutrophilic perivascular infiltrate is present, with a slight amount of spongiosis in the epidermis. Slight parakeratosis may be present, which probably correlates with the sandpaperlike texture of the skin. The spongiosis and parakeratosis are more noticeable during the desquamative stage. Engorged capillaries and lymphatic dilatation perifollicularly, as well as the presence of dermal hemorrhage and edema, are easily detected.

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