Background. Pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia (PEH) clinically and histologically mimics squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), specifically in patients with HIV and AIDS.
Case. A 51-year-old G3P2 with AIDS and history of vulvar cancer presented with large bilateral exophytic lesions on the vulva, grossly appearing neoplastic. Initial biopsies of the lesions were interpreted as vulvar SCC. After resolution with empiric treatment with acyclovir for possible herpes simplex virus type 2 outbreak, additional slides were reviewed, and cells with viral inclusions were identified, making the final diagnosis PEH in association with herpes simplex virus type 2 infection.
Conclusions. Although PEH is infrequently encountered, PEH should be considered in the differential diagnosis of vulvar lesions. A multidisciplinary approach including the gynecologist, pathologist, and infectious disease specialists can optimize patient outcome.