What is the role of lab testing in the workup of pediatric tinea versicolor?

Updated: Jan 27, 2020
  • Author: Lyubomir A Dourmishev, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

The diagnosis of tinea versicolor is usually made based on clinical examination findings; however, the diagnosis is easily confirmed with microscopic examination of scales soaked in 10-15% potassium hydroxide (KOH). See the images below.

Upon potassium hydroxide (KOH) examination, hyphae Upon potassium hydroxide (KOH) examination, hyphae are visible and grow into strands within clumps of keratinocytes. Thick-walled spores frequently occur in grapelike clumps. Individual spores and short stubby hyphae float in the clear areas between clumps of keratinocytes. Many of the short hyphae are dystrophic.
Mycelium strands and numerous spores observed on a Mycelium strands and numerous spores observed on a potassium hydroxide (KOH) preparation of tinea versicolor. This combination is commonly referred to as "spaghetti and meatballs."

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