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A clinical study and acyclovir therapy of herpes zoster

A clinical study and acyclovir therapy of herpes zoster
Lee H.R.Lee M.J.Hahm J.H.
Ewha Authors
Issue Date
Journal Title
Korean Journal of Dermatology
0494-4739JCR Link
Korean Journal of Dermatology vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 661 - 668
SCOPUS; KCI scopus
Document Type
Background: Herpes zoster is an acute localized infection caused by varicella-zoster virus and characterized by unilateral pain and vesicular eruptions along the sensory dermatomes. Objective: The purpose of this study was to elucidate the clinical features of herpes zoster and estimate the current therapeutic effect of Acyclovir of herpes zoster. Method: We studied 517 cases of herpes zoster by retrospective method comparing annual incidence, age and monthly variations, prediction site, associated conditions, complication and disease progress according to acyclovir treatment at the department of dermatology, Ewha Womans University Hospital over 4 years (1990-1993). Results: 1. The average annual incidence during the 4 years was 0.2%, being on the increase recently. There was no significant annual, seasonal and monthly variation and the majority of cases occurred most frequently over the fifth decade. 2. The dermatomal involvement of herpes zoster were most frequently on the thoracic dermatome (54.7%), followed by cervical, ophthalmic branch of trigeminal nerve, lumbar, sacral, maxillary branch of trigeminal nerve and mandibular branch of trigeminal nerve. The frequencies of accociated conditions in herpes zoster, in descending order, were diabetes mellitus, hypertension, infectious disease, gastritis or gastric ulcer, malignant neoplasm, cardiovascular disease and postoperative condition. 3. The duration of treatment in herpes zoster was 3.8 weeks and significantly shortened in acyclovir-using group (p < 0.05). The duration of treatment was significantly prolonged in associated disease (p < 0.01). 4. Postherpetic neuralgia was the most common complication (11.2%), followed by ophthalmic complications, varicelliform eruptions, secondary bacterial infections, meningoencephalitis, recurrent herpes zoster, keloid formation, urinary retention, ptosis and hypopigmentation. Postherpetic neuralgia increased with age and was observed most frequently in the ophthalmic branch of trigeminal nerve. Conclusion: The annual incidence of herpes zoster shows a tendency to increase recently but there was no significant monthly or seasonal variation. The most common anatomical distribution was on the thoracic dermatome. Herpes zoster was commonly associated with systemic disorders and the treatment duration was prolonged in associated diseases. Acyclovir has a significant effect in shortening the treatment duration. Postherpetic neuralgia was the most common complication of herpes zoster and was observed most frequently in the ophthalmic branch of trigeminal nerve.
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