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Pathology for Urologists

Plasma Cell Balanitis (Zoon's Balanitis)


  • General: The term balanitis refers to inflammation of the glans penis, while balanoposthitis refers to inflammation of the glans and prepuce; both entities are most often seen in uncircumcised males due to poor hygiene and accumulation of smegma beneath the foreskin, but other causes include candida, BXO, contact dermatitis, etc.
  • Plasma cell balanitis (Zoon's balanitis).
  • Also known as balanitis circumscripta plasmacellularis (in females: vulvitis circumscripta plasmacellularis).
  • Affects only uncircumcised males, and is thought to represent a reaction to a multitude of diverse stimuli.
  • Gross: single large (>2 cm) bright red moist patch on the glans or inner prepuce.
  • Histology:
    • Distinct upper dermal band-like infiltrate containing plasma cells.
    • Dermis contains dilated capillaries and the epidermis may be thin or partially absent.
    • Intracellular edema may be prominent.

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