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Dermatology Online Journal

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Varicella zoster virus reactivation and the increased risk of cerebrovascular accidents: the unexpected role dermatologists can play


Varicella zoster virus (VZV) primary infection usually causes varicella and its reactivation may lead to different clinical manifestations depending on the site of viral reactivation and its subsequent tissue spread. There is a growing recognition of the association between VZV reactivation and ensuing cerebrovascular accidents (CVA). The virus can spread to cerebral arteries, causing a wide clinical spectrum related to VZV vasculopathy. Herein we present an 80-year-old man with a previously undiagnosed immunosuppressive condition, admitted with disseminated herpes zoster, who subsequently developed an acute ischemic CVA and showed a substantial neurologic recovery under antiviral therapy.

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