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Three hundred thousand new cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed annually in the United States. The earliest manifestation of the disease, erythema migrans, occurs earlier than serologic conversion, and skin biopsies can be very helpful in suggesting the diagnosis. Histopathologic findings vary depending on where in the lesion the specimen is taken, but typically consist of a superficial and deep perivascular and interstitial lymphocytic infiltrate with eosinophils centrally and with histiocytes and plasma cells at the periphery. Rare cases with interstitial histiocytes and rare-to-sparse plasma cells exist. We present a 67-year-old man whose skin biopsy, taken on day 2 of his eruption, demonstrated a subtle perivascular and interstitial infiltrate of histiocytes without plasma cells. Dermatopathologists need to be aware of this pattern and consider the diagnosis of erythema migrans, despite negative initial serologic testing. Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Candice E Brem, Lynne J Goldberg. Early Erythema Migrans: Do Not Count on Plasma Cells. The American Journal of dermatopathology. 2022 Feb 01;44(2):e23-e25

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PMID: 35076434

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