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Comment & Response
February 2016

Varicella-Zoster Virus in Giant Cell Arteritis

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Toronto, Toronto Western Hospital, Department of Rheumatology, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
JAMA Neurol. 2016;73(2):238-239. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.3868

To the Editor We read with interest the article by Nagel et al.1 The authors investigated the frequency and localization of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) antigen in the temporal arteries of patients diagnosed as having giant cell arteritis (GCA). According to the authors’ findings, there was an increased frequency of VZV antigen in both patients with biopsy-positive and biopsy-negative GCA compared with the control group. They reported VZV antigen was particularly localized in the adventitial layer. A report from the United Kingdom did suggest GCA had a strong association with herpes zoster infection (relative risk, 2.6; 95% CI 1.6-4.1).2

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