Pityriasis Rosea-Like Rash as a Cutaneous Marker for COVID-19 Infection

July 2020 | Volume 19 | Issue 7 | Features | 779 | Copyright © July 2020


Published online June 24, 2020

Mohamed L. Elsaie MDa,b, Eman A, Youssef MDb, Hesham A, Nada MDc

aDepartment of Dermatology, National Research Centre, Giza, Egypt bDepartment of Clinical pathology, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt cDepartment of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt

DISCUSSION

The exact cause of PR remains to be unknown. A number of studies significantly associated human herpesvirus 6 and 7 (HHV-6 and HHV-7) with PR. However, this remains to be controversial and a number of pathogens including bacteria, fungi, vaccines, and most notably, viruses, were speculated to play a causative role.10 Ehsani et al reported a case of pityriasis rosea in a 27-year-old otherwise healthy male who was later diagnosed to have COVID-19.11

It was confirmed that COVID-19 infection is accompanied by a reduction in lymphocytes, monocytes, and eosinophils, along with a significant reduction of CD4/CD8 T cells, B cells, and natural killer (NK) cells. It was further revealed that non-survivor COVID-19 patients continued to show a decrease in lymphocyte count along the course of their disease until death.12-15

Diminished levels of natural killer (NK) cells and B-cells activity in the lesions of PR have been observed.16 This suggests the role of a T-cell mediated immunity. Besides, increased amounts of CD4 T cells and Langerhans cells have been found in the dermis, which possibly points towards viral antigen processing and presentation. However, this matter is still debated since some individuals are infected with HHV 6–7 and do not develop the disease.17

New information and cutaneous manifestations possibly related to COVID-19 are emerging every day. Further studies are needed to evaluate whether these lesions are associated with the virus or not. Careful documentation and robust reporting of cutaneous manifestations associated with COVID-19 are needed to augment our understanding of disease presentation and epidemiology.

DISCLOSURES

The authors have no relevant conflicts to report.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

The authors would like to thank all the health workers who have been fighting against COVID-19 in Egypt.

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AUTHOR CORRESPONDENCE

Mohamed L. Elsaie MD Egydoc77@yahoo.com