The juvenile variant of papular–purpuric gloves and socks syndrome and its association with viral infections

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Abstract

Background

Papular–purpuric gloves and socks syndrome (PPGSS) occurs mostly in adults and has been shown to be related to several possible viral infections. However, childhood-onset PPGSS seems to be not so rare as previously thought in our clinical experience.

Objectives

To survey the general characteristics of childhood-onset PPGSS and to determine the possible association between this juvenile variant of PPGSS and various viral infections.

Patients and methods

Thirty-three children with erythematopurpuric papular eruptions on the hands and/or feet were enrolled. Detailed history-taking and physical examination were performed on all of them. Blood samples were obtained from 25 patients about 1–5 weeks after the appearance of cutaneous eruptions to check complete blood counts, differential white blood cell counts, and IgM and IgG antibodies to parvovirus B19, cytomegalovirus (CMV), viral capsid antigen of Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) and measles.

Results

The median age of these 33 patients was 23 months. The mean duration of the skin eruption was 4·8 weeks (SD 2·7, 95% CI 3·9–5·0). Lymphocytosis was present in 13 patients (52%) while mild eosinophilia occurred in only three patients (12%). Five patients (20%) were positive for IgM antibodies against CMV and seven (28%) were positive for IgM antibodies against EBV. Only one patient (4%) was detected to have IgM antibodies against parvovirus B19.

Conclusions

Childhood-onset PPGSS shows somewhat different clinical features from the adult type. It may represent a nonspecific manifestation of several viral infections, including CMV, EBV and parvovirus B19 infections.

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