SynopsisCodesLook ForDiagnostic PearlsDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsManagement PearlsTherapyReferences

View all Images (43)

Bacillary angiomatosis
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Bacillary angiomatosis

Contributors: Antoinette Chateau BSc, MBChB, DCH, FCDerm, MMedSci, Anisa Mosam MBChB, MMed, FCDerm, PhD, Ncoza C. Dlova MBChB, FCDerm, PhD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Bacillary angiomatosis (BA) is caused by infection with Bartonella henselae or Bartonella quintana, gram-negative rods that stimulate the proliferation and migration of endothelial cells. Trauma from cats, such as cat scratches, bites, or licks, have been associated. BA is primarily seen in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals with a CD4+ count of <200 cells/µl. It has been reported in patients immunocompromised by malignancy, immunosuppressive therapy, or hepatitis B infection; very rarely may it occur in immunocompetent patients. It is rare in children. Poor socioeconomic status and living conditions are risk factors for this disease.

BA is characterized by cutaneous angiomatous papules and nodules. Other cutaneous lesions include lichenoid plaques, subcutaneous nodules, and ulcers. Organisms may disseminate systemically, in which case cutaneous lesions may be accompanied by fever, malaise, and night sweats. Multiple internal organs – including the liver (known as bacillary peliosis hepatis), spleen, bone (lytic bone lesions often under cutaneous lesions, resulting in bone pain), lung (endobronchial nodules and pulmonary infiltrates), central nervous system (CNS), cerebral masses, cardiac (endocarditis), and gastrointestinal (GI) tract – may then be involved.

Upon appropriate treatment, cutaneous lesions resolve with some hyperpigmentation or scarring.


A79.89 – Other specified rickettsioses

58213005 – Bacillary angiomatosis

Look For

Subscription Required

Diagnostic Pearls

Subscription Required

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

BA may assume numerous different distributions, including dermatomal and generalized.

The differential includes Lobular capillary hemangioma, AIDS-associated Kaposi sarcoma, and in South America, South American bartonellosis (verruga peruana, which is an infection with Bartonella bacilliformis).

Also consider:
  • Hemangioma
  • Angiokeratoma
  • Disseminated Atypical mycobacterial infection or fungal infection
  • Glomangiomas

Best Tests

Subscription Required

Management Pearls

Subscription Required


Subscription Required


Subscription Required

Last Reviewed:08/21/2017
Last Updated:10/26/2017
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Bacillary angiomatosis
A medical illustration showing key findings of Bacillary angiomatosis : Fever, Painful skin lesions, RBC decreased, Cat exposure, Hemorrhagic papules
Clinical image of Bacillary angiomatosis - imageId=2864995. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'An eroded nodule with a macerated collarette of scale at its base, on the finger of an HIV-positive patient.'
An eroded nodule with a macerated collarette of scale at its base, on the finger of an HIV-positive patient.
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.