Metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva mimicking primary varicella-zoster virus infection

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Department of Pathology; Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Abdominal Wall; Aged, 80 and over; Biopsy, Needle; Carcinoma, Squamous Cell; Diagnosis, Differential; Female; Gynecologic Surgical Procedures; Herpes Zoster; Herpesvirus 3, Human; Humans; Immunohistochemistry; Radiotherapy, Adjuvant; Rare Diseases; Skin Neoplasms; Vulvar Neoplasms


Dermatology | Female Urogenital Diseases and Pregnancy Complications | Neoplasms | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Oncology | Pathology | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases


We present a case of metastatic vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) mimicking a primary varicella-zoster virus (VZV)-like eruption. Although rare, a number of cutaneous metastases have been reported in a zosteriform pattern including solid malignancies (breast, colon, lung, and bladder), hematologic malignancies (B-cell lymphoma, T-cell lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma), and cutaneous malignancies, most notably melanoma. There are 7 published cases of metastatic SCC arising as a zosteriform eruption, but we present an unusual case that mimics primary varicella eruption both morphologically and histologically.

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Citation: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011 Aug;65(2):e63-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2011.02.029. Link to article on publisher's site

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