Podophyllotoxin Cytological Effects on the Epidermis in Condyloma Acuminatum

Bonnie Leung, Tyler Enos, Travis Vandergriff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Podophyllotoxin (PPT) is used to treat condylomata acuminata and works by destabilizing microtubules within epithelial cells, leading to mitotic arrest in metaphase. PPT-induced changes to the epidermis can cause histological findings mimicking dysplasia. Here, we present a case of vulvar condyloma acuminatum treated with PPT, showing ballooning degeneration, necrotic keratinocytes, and mitotic figures. PPT-treated skin may resemble dysplasia or squamous cell carcinoma in situ due to dyskeratosis and frequent mitoses; however, the synchronicity of mitotic figures in early phases of mitosis, as well as the absence of cellular pleomorphism and atypical mitotic figures, allows for distinction from malignancy. This case demonstrates the importance of understanding the histological changes caused by PPT to prevent misdiagnosis and potential overtreatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-72
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Dermatopathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • HPV
  • condyloma acuminatum
  • podophyllotoxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Dermatology


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