Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cutaneous toxoplasmosis after bone marrow transplantation

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 Aug 22. [Epub ahead of print]

Cutaneous toxoplasmosis after bone marrow transplantation with molecular confirmation

Amir G, Salant H, Resnick IB, Karplus R.

Department of Pathology, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.

Toxoplasmosis is a rare and often fatal complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The diagnosis of toxoplasmosis is usually made at autopsy because of the variety of systemic manifestations and the difficulty of diagnosis by serologic methods in the severely immunocompromised patient. Cutaneous toxoplasmosis in this setting is extremely rare and is difficult to diagnose with certainty because of the morphologic similarity of Toxoplasma gondii to other organisms, such as Leishmania and Histoplasma species. We report a patient who developed systemic toxoplasmosis, manifested as encephalitis and cutaneous lesions, after HSCT. Findings of a skin biopsy led to a tentative histologic diagnosis of toxoplasmosis, confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) examination of the skin biopsy and cerebrospinal fluid. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of cutaneous toxoplasmosis diagnosed by skin biopsy confirmed by PCR and sequencing. This disease may be more common than is generally appreciated in severely immunocompromised patients. PCR is a valuable adjunct to diagnosis.

PMID: 18723241 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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