Which histological findings are characteristic of herpes zoster (shingles)?

Updated: Jan 25, 2019
  • Author: Camila K Janniger, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

On rare occasions when skin biopsy is necessary, histologic findings are similar to those of herpes simplex and varicella. Ballooning degeneration and acantholysis of keratinocytes result in an intraepidermal vesicle. Multinucleated giant cells with accentuation of nuclear material at the periphery of nuclei are characteristic. [79] Underlying leukocytoclastic vasculitis often is a prominent finding and helps differentiate zoster from other herpetic infections.


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