Molluscum contagiosum: The importance of early diagnosis and treatment

UTMB Center for Clinical Studies, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Route 1070, Galveston, TX 77555, USA.
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Impact Factor: 4.7). 10/2003; 189(3 Suppl):S12-6. DOI: 10.1067/S0002-9378(03)00793-2
Source: PubMed


Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection that is becoming an increasing problem in sexually active individuals and in patients with human immunodeficiency virus. Although molluscum contagiosum lesions are generally self-limiting, it may take 6 months to 5 years for lesions to disappear. Furthermore, patients with weakened immune systems have increased difficulty in clearing lesions; therefore lesions typically persist for prolonged periods. Although there has been continued debate about whether molluscum contagiosum lesions should be treated or allowed to resolve spontaneously, many clinicians recommend treatment of genital molluscum contagiosum lesions to reduce the risk of sexual transmission, prevent autoinoculation, and increase patient quality of life. Treatment options for molluscum contagiosum include physician-administered and patient-administered therapies. Novel patient-administered treatment options allow administration in the privacy of a patient's home, providing added convenience and reducing patient embarrassment or stress. With the novel treatment opportunities currently available or in development, physicians are able to improve patient quality of life while providing patients with a convenient, well-tolerated, easily administered treatment regimen. This review summarizes the clinical diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum and provides a critical assessment of several current and emerging treatment options.

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    • "It accounts for approximately 1% of all diagnoses of skin and rarely mucous membrane infections, and affects mostly children and young adults. In adults, the virus may spread by sexual contact.[29–32] Infection follows close contact with an infected person or contaminated object, and results in an umbilicated, dome-shaped papule. "
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    ABSTRACT: Rare entities in the Pap test, including neoplastic and non-neoplastic conditions, pose challenges due to their infrequent occurrence in the daily practice of cytology. Furthermore, these conditions give rise to important diagnostic pitfalls. Infections such as tuberculosis cervicitis may be erroneously diagnosed as carcinoma, whereas others, such as schistosomiasis, are associated with squamous cell carcinoma. These cases include granuloma inguinale (donovanosis), tuberculosis, coccidioidomycosis, schistosomiasis, taeniasis, and molluscum contagiosum diagnosed in Pap tests. Granuloma inguinale shows histiocytes that contain intracytoplasmic bacteria (Donovan bodies). Tuberculosis is characterized by necrotizing granulomatous inflammation with Langhans-multinucleated giant cells. Coccidioidomycosis may show large intact or ruptured fungal spherules associated with endospores. Schistosoma haematobium is diagnosed by finding characteristic ova with a terminal spine. Molluscum contagiosum is characterized by the appearance of squamous cells with molluscum bodies. This article reviews the cytomorphology of selected rare infections and focuses on their cytomorphology, differential diagnosis, and role of ancillary diagnostic studies.
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