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01 October 2018 : Case report  Japan

A Fatal Case of Atypical Disseminated Herpes Zoster in a Patient with Meningoencephalitis and Seizures Associated with Steroid Immunosuppression

Unusual clinical course, Mistake in diagnosis, Diagnostic / therapeutic accidents, Unusual setting of medical care, Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis)

Shushi Fujisato1ABCDEF, Takashi Urushibara1CDE, Hajime Kasai123ABCDEF*, Daisuke Ishi1ABC, Kazuhiro Inafuku4DE, Yoshikatsu Fujinuma5DE, Toshihide Shinozaki1CDE

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.910521

Am J Case Rep 2018; 19:1162-1167


BACKGROUND: Herpes zoster is caused by the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus (VZV) and usually presents with vesicular skin lesions with a dermatomal distribution. Disseminated herpes zoster (DHZ) infection is characterized by non-dermatomal skin eruptions, often with involvement of other organs, and occurs in immunocompromised patients.

CASE REPORT: A 69-year-old man who was treated with prednisolone for amiodarone-associated interstitial lung disease, presented with seizures and altered consciousness. He had an erythematous rash with raised vesicles involving the skin of the genital region, left thigh, and abdomen. Following a diagnosis of DHZ with herpes zoster meningoencephalitis, he was treated with intravenous acyclovir. However, his level of consciousness did not improve, and he died of respiratory failure due to aspiration pneumonia.

CONCLUSIONS: A diagnosis of DHZ should be considered in immunosuppressed patients treated with steroids who present with seizures. A detailed search for skin eruptions should be conducted to enable early diagnosis and treatment.

Keywords: acyclovir, Encephalitis, Varicella Zoster, Fatal Outcome, Herpes Zoster, Seizures, Steroids

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American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923
American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923