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August 1961

Herpes Zoster and Malignancy

Author Affiliations


From the Medical Service, Veterans Administration Center, General Medical and Surgical Hospital, and the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, University of California Medical Center, Los Angeles.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;84(2):242-244. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580140068007

The association of herpes zoster with neoplastic and other diseases was studied as it occurred during a 5-year period in a veterans' medical and surgical hospital. All patients were males. The primary purpose was to determine the incidence of zoster in all types of malignancy. An attempt was made to observe any similarity or variation in the skin pathology of zoster that could be correlated with the associated malignancy.

Reports of herpes zoster and malignancy were reviewed by Beerman,1 who found the incidence of zoster in Hodgkin's disease varied from 0.06% to 13.4%; in lymphosarcoma 7.0%; and in lymphatic leukemia 0.9%. de Morgas and Kierland2 collected 39 cases of lymphoma occurring in 916 patients with zoster, an incidence of 4.2%. Williams, Diamond, and Craver3 found zoster in 162 of 5,778 patients with lymphoma and leukemia, an incidence of 4.8%.

Barton and O'Leary4 described a specific leukemic

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