Home Education AUAUniversity Education Products & Resources Pathology for Urologists Penis Infections Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum Contagiosum

Image A

Image B

  • Agent: molluscum contagiosum virus, a member of the pox virus family.
  • Incubation: 2-7 weeks.
  • Clinical: patients may be all ages; appearance is multiple discrete dome-shaped papules with central umbilications (image A), through which milky-white fluid may be expressed under pressure.

Image C

Image D

  • Histology:
    • Characteristic cup-shaped invaginations.
    • Cells of the stratum malphigi acquire cytoplasmic inclusions that progressively enlarge as they reach the surface: these molluscum bodies (Henderson-Patterson bodies) contain viral particles and are eosinophilic, but become more basophilic and granular as they enlarge and displace the nucleus (image B), (image C), & (image D).
  • Treatment: podophyllin or silver nitrate or laser vaporization.