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February 1984

Eccrine Duct Involvement by Herpes Zoster

Author Affiliations

From the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington (Mr Rinder); and the Department of Pathology, Dermatopathology Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard University Medical School, Boston (Dr Murphy).

Arch Dermatol. 1984;120(2):261-262. doi:10.1001/archderm.1984.01650380121025

The histopathology of herpesvirus infections of the skin has been characterized classically as an intraepidermal vesicle formed as a result of acantholysis and ballooning degeneration of keratinocytes. Dermal changes have been limited to a variably polymorphous inflammatory cell infiltrate, leukocytoclastic vasculitis in some cases, and, rarely, by the involvement of follicular infundibular and sebaceous gland epithelium.1 Involvement of eccrine epithelium has not been documented previously, to our knowledge.

This article describes a case of herpes zoster with prominent viral infection of the eccrine sweat glands. This patient had clinical findings consistent with a diagnosis of herpes zoster. Light and electron microscopic studies confirmed the selective involvement of eccrine duct epithelium but not of the secretory coil. We propose that viral infection of the eccrine glands is an additional rare occurrence in herpes zoster and may indicate selective tropism for epithelium forming the duct within the eccrine apparatus. The clinical

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