Epstein–barr virus-positive mucocutaneous ulcer: A unique and curious disease entity

Tomoka Ikeda, Yuka Gion, Yoshito Nishimura, Midori Filiz Nishimura, Tadashi Yoshino, Yasuharu Sato

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-positive mucocutaneous ulcer (EBVMCU) was first described as a lymphoproliferative disorder in 2010. EBVMCU is a unifocal mucosal or cutaneous ulcer that often occurs after local trauma in patients with immunosuppression; the patients generally have a good prognosis. It is histologically characterized by proliferating EBV-positive atypical B cells accompanied by ulcers. On the basis of conventional pathologic criteria, EBVMCU may be misdiagnosed as EBV-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma or other lymphomas. However, its prognosis differs from that of EBV-associated lymphomas, in that patients with EBVMCU frequently show spontaneous regression or complete remission without chemotherapy. Therefore, EBVMCU is now recognized as a low-grade malignancy or a pseudo-malignant lesion. Avoiding unnecessary chemotherapy by distinguishing EBVMCU from other EBV-associated lymphomas will reduce the burden and unnecessary harm on patients. On the basis of these facts, EBVMCU was first described as a new clinicopathological entity by the World Health Organization in 2017. In this review, we discuss the clinicopathological characteristics of previously reported EBVMCU cases, while focusing on up-todate clinical, pathological, and genetic aspects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1053
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2021


  • Clinical features
  • EBV-positive mucocutaneous ulcer
  • Immunosuppression
  • Pathological features

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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