The association of aberrant vesicles with herpes zoster was first noted by Tenneson1 in 1893. He reported such vesicles in 9 out of 10 cases. Barker2 stated that many consider this incidence too high. With this in mind, we carefully examined all patients with herpes zoster admitted to the dermatologic service at Bellevue Hospital during the past six months.
Thirty patients with herpes zoster have been observed, of whom 20 (66 per cent) presented aberrant vesicles. The number of aberrant vesicles in each case varied from five to over thirty. They were most commonly seen in elderly patients, on the chest, abdomen and back.
In 12 of the 30 cases the condition was of the gangrenous type, and in 9 (75 per cent) of these there were aberrant vesicles. In only 11 (61 per cent) of the 18 cases in which there were no gangrenous lesions were there