Review of 120 biopsies performed on the balanopreputial sac: From Zoon's balanitis to the concept of a wider spectrum of inflammatory non-cicatricial balanoposthitis

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Abstract

Background: Long-lasting erythematous lesions involving the balanopreputial sac may be clinically difficult to classify, and biopsies may be performed in order to clarify the nature of the disease. However, our previous experience led us to consider several cases as histopathologically unclassifiable. Objective: To establish the causes of such unsatisfactory findings. Methods: We reviewed 120 balanopreputial sac biopsies performed at the surgical unit of our institute from January 1999 to December 2002 examining also the patients' clinical records. Results: We found that a small group of previously unclassified cases showed common clinical and histopathological features. Clinically, all patients were uncircumcised and had longlasting asymptomatic erythematous plaques on the balanopreputial sac with no erythroplastic or lichenoid features and no correlation with sexual intercourse. Histologically, all specimens showed a thinned and spongiotic epithelium, a band-like infiltrate of lymphocytes and histiocytes with a variable number of plasma cells in the upper part of the chorion and further signs of acute, subacute or chronic inflammation. Conclusions: In our view, these cases fall within a spectrum of inflammatory noncicatricial disorders, ranging from almost pure lymphohistiocytic forms to forms which fulfil all criteria to be classified as balanitis circumscripta plasmacellularis of Zoon. We propose to classify these cases histologically as inflammatory non-cicatricial balanoposthitis and clinically as idiopathic inflammatory non-cicatricial balanoposthitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-124
Number of pages5
JournalDermatology
Volume208
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • Balanitis
  • Balanoposthitis
  • Idiopathic inflammatory non-cicatricial balanoposthitis
  • Inflammatory non-cicatricial balanoposthitis
  • Zoon's balanitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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