Acquired epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EDV) is a rare disorder occurring in patients with depressed cellular immunity, particularly individuals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Rare cases of acquired EDV have been reported in stem cell or solid organ transplant recipients. Weakened cellular immunity predisposes the patient to human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, with 92% of renal transplant recipients developing warts within 5 years posttransplantation.1 Specific EDV-HPV subtypes have been isolated from lesions in several immunosuppressed individuals, with HPV-5 and HPV-8 being the most commonly isolated subtypes.2,3 Herein, we present the clinical findings of a renal transplant recipient who presented for evaluation of multiple skin lesions characteristic of EDV 5 years following transplantation and initiation of immunosuppressive therapy. Additionally, we review the current diagnostic findings, management, and treatment of acquired EDV.
A 44-year-old white woman presented for evaluation of several pruritic cutaneous lesions that had developed on the chest and neck of 1 month’s duration. The patient had been on the immunosuppressant medications cyclosporine and mycophenolate mofetil for more than 5 years following renal transplantation 7 years prior to the current presentation. She also was on low-dose prednisone for chronic systemic lupus erythematosus. Her family history was negative for any pertinent skin conditions.
On physical examination the patient exhibited several grouped 0.5-cm, shiny, pink lichenoid macules located on the upper mid chest, anterior neck, and left leg clinically resembling the lesions of pityriasis versicolor (Figure 1). A shave biopsy was taken from one of the newest lesions on the left leg. Histopathology revealed viral epidermal cytopathic changes, blue cytoplasm, and coarse hypergranulosis characteristic of EDV (Figure 2). A diagnosis of acquired EDV was made based on the clinical and histopathologic findings.
The patient’s skin lesions became more widespread despite several different treatment regimens, including cryosurgery; tazarotene cream 0.05% nightly; imiquimod cream 5% once weekly; and intermittent short courses of 5-fluorouracil cream 5%, which provided the best response. At her most recent clinic visit 8 years after initial presentation, she continued to have more widespread lesions on the trunk, arms, and legs, but no evidence of malignant transformation.