Disseminated Herpes Zoster in a Patient with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia: A case study

Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is a member of Herpesviridae family. It can cause two distinct clinical entities: varicella (chickenpox) and herpes zoster (shingles).1,2 Herpes Zoster (HZ) is painful, vesicular rash in a limited area on one side of body due to the reactivation of latent VZV in dorsal root ganglia. Involvement of three or more dermatomes is known as disseminated zoster and seen in immunocompromised individuals. It can occur at any age. The risk of herpes zoster increases with old age and in patients with reduced cell mediated immunity such as haematological malignancies, immunosuppressive therapies, HIV infection and transplant recipients. The incidence of herpes zoster has been variably reported as 2% in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), 13% in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and 30% in transplant recipients.3-5 This was a rare case of disseminated herpes zoster in a patient with Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia developed while on chemotherapy progressing to prolonged myelosuppression.


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