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31-Year-Old Male with Pruritic, Papular Eruption on Trunk

Can you diagnose this case?

David L. Kaplan, MD – 2015 Series Editor

Signs and Symptoms

A 31-year-old man seeks evaluation of a pruritic papular eruption on his trunk of 2 weeks’ duration. He denies fever, malaise, and medication use.

What should your first step be?

Choose one to reveal diagnosis and discussion

Perform a skin biopsy
Obtain a complete blood cell count and chemistry panel
Perform a VDRL test
Obtain a chest radiograph
Obtain an antinuclear antibody titer

Answer: Perform a VDRL test

See the full case at Consultant360

This is a typical presentation of pityriasis rosea, which usually manifests as oval-shaped, salmon-colored macules or erythematous papules. Since secondary syphilis can mimic pityriasis rosea, a VDRL test, can be useful; the other tests are of limited value.

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