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Plasma Cell Balanitis Presenting in a Patient with a History of Syphilis

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Abstract

Plasma cell balanitis (PCB), also knows as Zoon balanitis, is a benign asymptomatic but chronic and erosive inflammatory condition of the glans penis and prepuce that generally affects uncircumcised men in later years. Clinical presentation involves a single, shiny, well defined reddish patch. We describe the first case of PCB ever reported in a patient with a previous history of syphilis, and include a review of the current literature. A 57-year-old Hispanic man with a remote history of syphilis presented with a 6-month nonhealing, granulating ulcer of the foreskin and glans penis that had been repeatedly mistaken for syphilis and treated unsuccessfully with circumcision 3 weeks previously. Biopsy of the glans penis demonstrated sections with denuded chronic granulation tissue showing a fibrotic stroma with numerous blood vessels and a mixed inflammatory infiltrate including scattered plasma cells. It is important to differentiate PCB from a syphilitic chancre in a patient presenting with a nonhealing penile lesion. This case report demonstrates that these entities may be seen in the same patient at different times.

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Acknowledgments

No sources of funding were received to prepare this case report. The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare that are directly relevant to the content of this case report.

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Correspondence to Dr Daniel Behroozan.

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Ezra, N., Binder, S.W. & Behroozan, D. Plasma Cell Balanitis Presenting in a Patient with a History of Syphilis. Am J Clin Dermatol 13, 129–133 (2012). https://doi.org/10.2165/11593260-000000000-00000

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Keywords

  • Tacrolimus
  • Syphilis
  • Pimecrolimus
  • Rapid Plasma Reagin
  • Venereal Disease Research Laboratory