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Bacillary Angiomatosis

(Epithelioid Angiomatosis)

By

Larry M. Bush

, MD, FACP, Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University;


Maria T. Vazquez-Pertejo

, MD, FACP, Wellington Regional Medical Center

Last full review/revision Feb 2020| Content last modified Feb 2020
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Bacillary angiomatosis is skin infection caused by the gram-negative bacteria Bartonella henselae or B. quintana.

Infection with B. quintana is spread by lice; infection with B. henselae is probably spread by fleas from household cats. Disease may spread throughout the reticuloendothelial system, causing bacillary peliosis (peliosis hepatis Peliosis Hepatis Peliosis hepatis is typically an asymptomatic disorder in which multiple blood-filled cystic spaces develop randomly in the liver. (See also Overview of Vascular Disorders of the Liver.) Measuring... read more due to Bartonella bacteria), particularly in AIDS patients.

Diagnosis of bacillary angiomatosis relies on histopathology of the skin lesions, cultures, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. The laboratory should be notified that Bartonella is suspected because special stains and prolonged incubation are necessary.

Treatment of bacillary angiomatosis is with oral erythromycin 500 mg every 6 hours or oral doxycycline 100 mg every 12 hours, continued for at least 3 months. Fluoroquinolones and azithromycin are alternatives.

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