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November 1991

Cutaneous Pneumocystis carinii Infection in Patients With Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, New York (NY) University Medical Center (Dr Hennessey); Department of Internal Medicine, Presbyterian Hospital, Dallas, Tex (Dr Parro); and Departments of Pathology, Division of Dermatopathology, and Dermatology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas (Dr Cockerell).

Arch Dermatol. 1991;127(11):1699-1701. doi:10.1001/archderm.1991.01680100099012

• Extrapulmonary infection with Pneumocystis carinii is an uncommon event in which the skin may be affected rarely. All cases heretofore described in immunocompromised hosts have involved the external auditory canal and mastoid areas. We describe two patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and extrapulmonary cutaneous P carinii infection that involved the glabrous skin. The first was a 31-year-old white man seropositive for human immunodeficiency virus with prior episodes of P carinii pneumonia and infection with Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare evaluated for translucent papules on the skin with an appearance similar to molluscum contagiosum infection. Biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of cutaneous pneumocystosis. The second patient was a 36-year-old homosexual man with long-standing liver disease with a persistent cough, fever, and an abnormal chest roentgenogram. Cutaneous evaluation revealed a bluish macule on the sternal notch that on skin biopsy was diagnostic of cutaneous pneumocystosis. Treatment with intravenous pentamidine resulted in resolution of the pulmonary and cutaneous problems in both cases. Extrapulmonary P carinii infection may involve the skin at sites other than the external auditory canal and may have a nondescript appearance. Histologic findings are similar to those of pneumocystosis found elsewhere. Clinicians should be familiar with the nondescript nature of the eruption as skin biopsy may be helpful in establishing a diagnosis of systemic pneumocystosis.

(Arch Dermatol. 1991;127:1699-1701)

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