What is the histologic finding of lymphocytes in herpes zoster (shingles)?

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

Lymphocytes may be found in the lower part of the epidermis, accompanied by a combination of spongiosis and vacuolar alteration. The papillary dermis is often edematous. Extravasated erythrocytes in variable numbers are a common finding. A brisk lymphocytic infiltrate is present in the upper dermis.

Some of these lymphocytes may have large and polygonal nuclei. They are dense, perivascular, and sparse interstitial, superficial, and deep collections, sometimes assuming a patchy, lichenoid pattern. The lymphocytes may be prominent in and around adnexal structures, often peppering follicles, sebaceous glands, and eccrine glands.

Neutrophils and nuclear dust are occasionally seen; eosinophils are rare.


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