Different patterns of skin manifestations associated with parvovirus B19 primary infection in adults

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Abstract

Background:

Skin involvement is reported during primary parvovirus B19 infection in adults.

Objectives:

We sought to describe the cutaneous presentations associated with parvovirus B19 primary infection in adults.

Methods:

We conducted a descriptive, retrospective, multicenter study. The patients included (>18 years old) had well-established primary infections with parvovirus B19.

Results:

Twenty-nine patients were identified between 1992 and 2013 (17 women, 12 men). The elementary dermatologic lesions were mostly erythematous (86%) and often purpuric (69%). Pruritus was reported in 48% of cases. The rash predominated on the legs (93%), trunk (55%), and arms (45%), with a lower frequency of facial involvement (20%). Four different but sometimes overlapping patterns were identified (45%): exanthema, which was reticulated and annular in some cases (80%); the gloves-and-socks pattern (24%); the periflexural pattern (28%); and palpable purpura (24%).

Limitations:

The limitations of this study were its retrospective design and possible recruitment bias in tertiary care centers.

Conclusion:

Our findings suggest that primary parvovirus B19 infection is associated with polymorphous skin manifestations with 4 predominant, sometimes overlapping, patterns. The acral or periflexural distribution of the rash and the presence of purpuric or annular/reticulate lesions are highly suggestive of parvovirus B19 infection.

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