Varicella Zoster Virus CNS disease in hematopoietic cell transplantation: A single center experience


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Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
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Abstract (Abstract): shot summary in a article that contain essentials elements presented during a scientific conference, lecture or from a poster.
Varicella Zoster Virus CNS disease in hematopoietic cell transplantation: A single center experience
Title of the conference
Abstracts of the 15th International Symposium on Infections in the Immunocompromised Host
Pergam Steven, Erard Veronique, Delaney Colleen, Flowers Mary, Wald Anna, Corey Lawrence, Boeckh Michael
Thessaloniki, Greece, June 22-25, 2008
Publication state
Issued date
International Journal of Infectious Diseases
Background: Varciella Zoster Virus (VZV) can lead to serious complications in Hematopoietic Cell Transplant (HCT) recipients. Central nervous system (CNS) VZV can be one of the most devastating infections in transplant recipients, yet little is known about this rare disease.
Objectives: To describe CNS VZV in the post-transplant period and to define potential risk factors in the HCT population.
Methods: We reviewed the course of all patients who received a first HCT at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center (FHCRC) in Seattle, WA from 1/1996 through 12/2007. Data were collected retrospectively using the Long-Term Follow-Up database, which includes on-site examinations, outside records, laboratory tests, and yearly questionnaires. Patients were classified as CNS VZV if they had laboratory confirmation of VZV in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), or had zoster with associated clinical and laboratory findings consistent with CNS disease.
Results: A total of six patients developed VZV CNS disease during the evaluation period (table 1). Diagnosis was confirmed in 3/6 by detection of VZV in CSF by PCR. All other patients had a clinical diagnosis based on the presence of CNS symptoms, zoster, lymphocytic pleiocytosis, and response to IV acyclovir. Patients who developed CNS disease had a mean age of 42 years (range 34-51) at time of transplant. CNS disease developed at a mean of 9 months posttransplantation (range 0.5-24 months), and severity varied, ranging from meningitis (3/6) to encephalitis/myelitis (3/6). All had active graft-versus host disease (GHVD) and all were being treated with immunosuppressive therapy at time of diagnosis. Fever and headache were the most common symptoms, but patients who developed focal CNS findings or seizures (3/6) had a more complicated clinical course. While most patients presented with classic VZV/zoster skin lesions, 2/6 patients had no dermatologic findings associated with their presentation. Four (66%) of patients who developed VZV CNS disease died, two related to VZV complications despite aggressive antiviral therapy.
Conclusions: In this cohort of HCT patients, VZV CNS disease was a rare complication. Mortality due to CNS VZV is high, particularly in patients who develop focal neurologic findings or seizures. Even in the absence of skin lesions, VZV CNS disease should be considered in patients who develop fevers and neurologic symptoms.
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Open Access
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14/10/2009 12:23
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20/08/2019 14:20
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