Summary Background Some cases of human papillomavirus (HPV) type 56 infection in Bowen disease have been reported. However, the incidence and clinical characteristics are still unclear.
Objective To clarify the prevalence of HPV type 56-positive Bowen disease in our department and to characterize the clinical manifestations.
Methods Sixty-eight specimens of Bowen disease were examined by polymerase chain reaction using HPV consensus primers, and the amplified products were subjected to DNA sequence analyses. Moreover, positive samples were investigated by in situ hybridization. These findings were used to clarify the clinical characteristics of HPV-positive Bowen disease.
Results Eight out of 68 specimens (12%) of Bowen disease were HPV-positive, of which six specimens were HPV type 56-positive. The HPV type 56-positive lesions were characterized by a longitudinal melanonychia or a deeply pigmented keratotic lesion. The remaining two specimens were genital Bowen disease in which HPV type 16 was detected. In situ hybridization demonstrated the positive cells in the upper layer of epidermis. The HPV type 56 detected in the samples of longitudinal melanonychia can be divided into at least into two types.
Conclusions This study determined the prevalence of HPV type 56-positive Bowen disease. Longitudinal melanonychia is the most characteristic manifestation of HPV type 56-associated Bowen disease.