A 52-year-old woman with HIV and recent antiretroviral therapy non-adherence presented with a 5-day history of widespread painful vesicular skin lesions. Direct fluorescent antibody testing of the skin lesions was positive for varicella zoster virus (VZV). On day 3, she developed profound right upper extremity weakness. MRI of the brain and cervical spine was suggestive of VZV myelitis. Lumbar puncture was positive for VZV PCR in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and CSF HIV viral load was detected at 1030 copies/mL, indicating ‘secondary’ HIV CSF escape. She was treated with intravenous acyclovir for 4 weeks and subsequent oral therapy with famciclovir then valacyclovir for 6 weeks. She also received dexamethasone. The patient had an almost full recovery at 6 months. Myelitis is a rare complication of reactivated VZV infection that can have atypical presentation in immunocompromised patients. Such ‘secondary’ HIV CSF escape should be considered in immunosuppressed patients with concomitant central nervous system infection.
- HIV / AIDS
- infection (neurology)
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.