Which histologic findings are characteristic of varicella-zoster virus esophagitis?

Updated: May 02, 2019
  • Author: Deepika Devuni, MBBS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) can cause severe esophagitis. The key to diagnosis is finding concurrent dermatologic VZV lesions. The appearance on EGD ranges from occasional vesicles to discrete ulcerative lesions to a confluence of ulcerations with necrosis.

On histologic examination, epithelial cells with VZV show edema, ballooning degeneration, and multinucleated giant cells with intranuclear eosinophilic inclusion bodies. Immunohistochemical staining using monoclonal antibodies is helpful to differentiate VZV from HSV.


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