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July 1980

Serum Copper Levels in Patients With Herpes Zoster

Author Affiliations

Toledo, Ohio

Arch Dermatol. 1980;116(7):749. doi:10.1001/archderm.1980.01640310019002

To the Editor.—  It has been reported that nonimmunosuppressed patients with Hodgkin's disease have depressed levels of serum copper if herpes zoster develops.1 Inasmuch as the number of factors that can be used to help observe patients with herpes zoster is limited,2 it would be important to confirm whether serum copper levels are altered and whether this change may signal a risk of dissemination in any particular patient with herpes zoster.Therefore, we observed the serum copper level in a renal transplant patient who was receiving immunosuppressants when the herpes zoster first appeared, when it disseminated, and weeks after the lesions had healed. The results were serum copper levels of 130 μg/dL, 145 μg/dL, and 110 μg/dL, respectively (normal limits, 69 to 140 μg/dL).The use of serum copper would seem to have limited value in uniformly assessing the state or course of herpes zoster in patients without

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