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January 1981

Recurrent Herpes Zoster Encephalitis: A Complication of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology (Drs O'Donnell, Pula, Sellman, and Camenga) and Microbiology (Dr Camenga), University of Mary-; land Hospital, Baltimore.

Arch Neurol. 1981;38(1):49-51. doi:10.1001/archneur.1981.00510010075015

• A middle-aged woman had five discrete episodes of herpes zoster. The first attack consisted of uncomplicated herpes zoster ophthalmicus. The subsequent four episodes involved thoracic, cervical, and finally sacral dermatomes and were complicated by myelitis or encephalomyelitis. During the most recent attack, while she was receiving corticosteroids, varicella-zoster virus was cultured from the CSF. In addition, the patient had strong evidence of systemic lupus erythematosus, with a history of Raynaud's phenomenon, migratory arthralgia, and unexplained anemia before the first attack of zoster with subsequent development of a positive lupus cell preparation and elevated antinuclear antibody levels.

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