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Dermatology. 2003;207(4):349-53.

Detection of herpes simplex virus genomic DNA in various subsets of Erythema multiforme by polymerase chain reaction.

Author information

  • 1National Skin Centre, Singapore, Singapore. patriciang@nsc.gov.sg

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The wide variation in the detection of herpes simplex virus (HSV) DNA (36-75%) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in erythema multiforme (EM) may be partly attributed to differences in case selection in terms of subsets of EM studied.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the frequencies of detection of HSV DNA in specific subsets of EM.

METHODS:

Nested PCR was used to detect HSV DNA in skin biopsies with histologically proven EM.

RESULTS:

PCR was performed on skin biopsies from 63 patients with EM. HSV DNA was detected in 3/11 (27.2%) of single-episode HSV-associated EM (HAEM), 6/10 (60%) of recurrent HAEM, 1/4 (25%) of single-episode idiopathic EM and 6/12 (50%) of recurrent idiopathic EM. HSV DNA was not detected in atypical EM (0/11), suspected drug-induced EM (0/9) or Stevens-Johnson syndrome (0/6).

CONCLUSION:

The overall PCR positive rates of HAEM (42.9%) and idiopathic EM (43.8%) were comparable suggesting that idiopathic EM is likely to be related to a subclinical HSV infection.

Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

PMID:
14657624
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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