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September 1992

Primary Cutaneous Aspergillosis Near Central Venous Catheters in Patients With the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Dermatology, University of California at San Diego Medical Center.

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(9):1229-1232. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.01680190085010

• Background.—  Aspergillosis in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is unusual, and the clinicopathologic features of primary cutaneous aspergillosis in this setting are undefined. Our findings show that the manifestations can differ from those of primary cutaneous aspergillosis in other immunocompromised patients.

Observations.—  Two men with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome developed foci of primary cutaneous aspergillosis beneath adhesive tape near central venous catheter sites. Typical lesions were flesh-colored to pink, umbilicated papules that clinically resembled molluscum contagiosum. Biopsy specimens showed variably ruptured follicles that contained collections of fungal hyphae typical of Aspergillus species. Cultures in one case indentified Aspergillus fumigatus. The use of nonocclusive dressings and local wound care resulted in involution of several lesions.

Conclusions.—  Primary cutaneous aspergillosis begins as saprophytic involvement of hair follicles secondary to the altered microenvironment beneath adhesive tape. Systemic antifungal therapy is prudent, but in the absence of neutropenia or other traditional risk factors for dissemination, it appears that Aspergillus in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome can produce relatively indolent cutaneous lesions with a tendency to resolve once precipitating factors are removed.(Arch Dermatol. 1992;128:1229-1232)

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