How are the cutaneous manifestations of cytomegalovirus (CMV) in HIV disease characterized?

Updated: Mar 26, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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CMV is a DNA virus in the Herpesviridae family. Ulcers in the perineal region are the most common presentation of CMV infection in patients infected with HIV-1. The concurrent involvement of other infectious agents, such as HSV, in the same lesions confounds the role of CMV in cutaneous lesions. HSV is proposed to be the initiating infection leading to ulcer formation, with CMV secondarily localizing in the granulation tissue.

Nonspecific maculopapular eruptions similar to those affecting patients with EBV or papulovesicular, nodular, purpuric, and ulcerative lesions of CMV infection are observed in patients who are immunocompromised. However, cutaneous lesions are rarely observed in patients infected with HIV.

CMV infection of the eccrine ducts resulting in squamous metaplasia has been described in a patient with HIV.

Diagnosing skin CMV infection in individuals infected with HIV is important. The presence of CMV infection is considered a poor prognostic sign in HIV disease.

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