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July 1961

Molluscum Contagiosum: A Clinicopathologic Study

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Dermatology, Wayne State University College of Medicine and Detroit Receiving Hospital (Hermann Pinkus, M.D., Chairman).

Arch Dermatol. 1961;84(1):123-127. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580130129020

Clinical diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum has been considered easy by most dermatology textbooks. The semiglobular, elevated, firm, and yellow, waxy-appearing lesions with central umbilication from which a milky curdlike substance can be expressed are described as characteristic features. Besides this classical form, molluscum contagiosum presents a variety of unusual clinical pictures which produce diagnostic difficulties. It is in such cases that the clinician seeks assistance from the histopathologist, often without suspecting the correct diagnosis.

In this paper, 42 cases of molluscum contagiosum found among 20,000 consecutive skin biopsy specimens are reviewed, and special reference is made to the unusual clinical and histological findings of this virus infection. Of these 42 cases, 38 had clinical diagnoses as follows: molluscum contagiosum, 8; basal-cell epithelioma, 12; verruca vulgaris, 5; histiocytoma, 3; keratoacanthoma, 2; intradermal nevus, 2; solitary Darier's disease, 2; and nevoxanthoendothelioma, syringoma, epithelial nevi, and sebaceous adenoma, 1 each. The remaining 4

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