Cutaneous Cytomegalovirus Infection in an Immunocompetent Patient: Innocent Bystander or Culprit?

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Abstract

We present a rare case of cutaneous cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in a nonimmunocompromised patient. A 74-year-old woman with a history of diabetes presented with an ulcer on the right lateral tibia that occurred at the site of a nerve core biopsy. Subsequent biopsy of the ulcer edge showed granulation tissue with neutrophilic inflammation. The patient underwent extensive antibiotic treatment for possible infection with weekly wound care. However, the ulceration persisted and enlarged. A repeat biopsy 1 year later showed superficial and deep mixed inflammation with an associated vasculitis. On close examination, endothelial and eccrine ducts cells showed characteristic CMV viral cytopathic changes with positivity on CMV immunohistochemical stain. Although the patient was started on valganciclovir, the ulceration did not resolve with treatment and slightly enlarged. Treatment modalities included dapsone, prednisone, weekly wound care, wound vacuum, and eventually a skin graft of the ulcer site. This case highlights the presence of CMV infection in a cutaneous ulceration in a relatively immunocompetent patient, and the lack of response to treatment raises the question whether CMV was causative, partially contributory, or simply an innocent bystander.

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