Penis & scrotum


Plasma cell balanitis

Last author update: 1 February 2010
Last staff update: 25 September 2023 (update in progress)

Copyright: 2002-2023,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Plasma cell balanitis penis

Alcides Chaux, M.D.
Antonio L. Cubilla, M.D.
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Cite this page: Chaux A, Cubilla AL. Plasma cell balanitis. website. Accessed September 28th, 2023.
Definition / general
  • Also known as balanitis circumscripta plasmacellularis, Zoon balanitis
  • Balanitis: inflammation of glans
  • Middle aged and elderly uncircumcised men
  • Etiology unknown but probably reactive
Clinical features
  • Disease tends to be chronic and may persist for months to years
  • Solitary or rarely multiple brown-red plaques located in glans or inner foreskin
  • Surface is shiny, slightly moist and stippled with minute red specks
  • May simulate erythroplasia of Queyrat / Bowen disease
Case reports
Clinical images

AFIP images

Glans mucosa

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Epidermal atrophy, band-like infiltrate of plasma cells in dermis, hemosiderin pigment laden macrophages (siderophages), edema and numerous capillaries
  • Epithelium may show mild reactive changes which can simulate penile intraepithelial neoplasia
  • Rarely plasma cells are scant / absent
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