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Cytologic smears and the findings of characteristic multinucleated giant cells (Tzanck test) are helpful in the diagnosis of:

 # Cytologic smears and the findings of characteristic multinucleated giant cells (Tzanck test) are helpful in the diagnosis of:
A. Chicken pox
B. Mumps
C. Psoriasis
D. Herpes Zoster



The correct answer is D. Herpes Zoster.

Herpes zoster can frequently be recognized by the characteristic distribution of the lesions, although there may be a similarity to the lesions of herpes simplex infection. Skin lesions and oral lesions in particular may be easily identified as viral diseases by cytologic smears and the finding of characteristic multinucleated giant cells (Tzanck test) and intranuclear inclusions. However, this does not differentiate between herpes zoster and herpes simplex. This can only be done by fluorescent antibody staining techniques, viral culture or serologic diagnosis.

Reference: Shafer’s Textbook of ORAL PATHOLOGY, 7th Edition, Page No: 351

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