Clinical Study on Outcome of Treatment for Herpes Zoster WC01-WC04
Dr. Rashmi Samir Mahajan,
Professor and Head, Department of Skin and Venereal Disease, Smt. B.K.
Shah Medical Institute and Research Center, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth
University, Vadodara, Gujarat, India.
E-mail : email@example.com
Introduction: Herpes Zoster (HZ) is caused by reactivation of Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV). It is characterised by occurrence of grouped vesicles on erythematous base which involves the entire dermatome innervated by a single spinal or cranial sensory ganglion and is associated with radicular pain. Antivirals (Acyclovir, Famciclovir and Valacyclovir) started within 72 hours of onset of lesions are the agents of choice.
Aim: To study the clinical manifestations, comorbidities, efficacy and safety of Acyclovir, complications and sequelae associated with HZ.
Materials and Methods: A 3-year longitudinal cohort study was conducted in 212 adult patients (>18 years of age) suffering with HZ in the Department of Dermatology, Dhiraj General Hospital, Pipariya, Gujarat, India. In this study 212 patients with HZ were prescribed oral Acyclovir in a dose of 800 mg 5 times a day for 7 days. All patients were analysed in terms of clinical manifestations, pre-existing co-morbidities and incidence of complications. The clinical history and findings were recorded in a prestructured proforma. All patients were subjected to cytological examination (Tzanck smear) and Human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) testing Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Diagnosis was made primarily on the basis of clinical findings and presence of multinucleated giant cells in Tzanck smear. All the patients were treated with Oral Acyclovir. Cases were followed-up fortnightly for six weeks and evaluated for relief of symptoms, treatment outcome and complications/sequelae.
Results: Two hundred and twelve cases were studied. One hundred and forty-two cases were in the 4th and 5th decades of life. Sixty-three cases had comorbidities like diabetes mellitus in 31, autoimmune diseases like pemphigus vulgaris, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease in 19 and AIDS in 8 cases. Five cases had malignancy/lymphomas and were receiving chemotherapy for the same. In the majority, HZ occurred de novo without any comorbidities. The most common dermatomes involved were cervical and thoracic. Out of 212 cases Oral Acyclovir 800 mg was well tolerated by 74. Most common complication was Postherpetic Neuralgia (PHN), seen in 80 cases.
Conclusion: The treatment of HZ with Oral Acyclovir 800 mg 5 times a day for 7 days is efficacious for healing of skin lesions and also reduces the chances of PHN if instituted within 72 hours.