What are the histopathological features for cat scratch disease (CSD)?

Updated: Feb 16, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Histopathological features of lymph nodes are consistent but not pathognomonic for CSD. Features include granuloma formation, stellate abscesses, and lymphocytic infiltrates. Brown-Hopp tissue Gram stain and Warthin-Starry silver staining can show clumps of small, curved, gram-negative bacilli (shown in the image below). These are usually found in the walls of blood vessels and in the microabscesses and macrophages that line the sinuses.

Warthin-Starry stained sections of lymph node show Warthin-Starry stained sections of lymph node showing chains and clusters of organisms. Courtesy of Andrew Margileth, MD.

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