Severe Herpes Zoster Requiring Intravenous Antiviral Treatment in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Recipients on Standard Acyclovir Prophylaxis
BIOLOGY OF BLOOD AND MARROW TRANSPLANTATION
Authors: Baumrin, Emily; Cheng, Matthew P.; Kanjilal, Sanjat; Ho, Vincent T.; Issa, Nicolas C.; Baden, Lindsey R.
Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (Ha) recipients are at increased risk for varicella zoster virus (VZV) reactivation and associated complications. The incidence, timing, and risk factors for severe herpes zoster (HZ) are not well described in the era of acyclovir (ACV) prophylaxis. We performed a retrospective cohort study of all patients who underwent first allogeneic HCT between October 2006 and December 2015 at our institution. Patients were followed until December 2017 for the development of severe HZ, defined as necessitating administration of i.v. antiviral medication. Out of 2163 patients who underwent allogeneic Ha, 22 (1.0%) developed severe HZ at a rate of 1 per 228 person-years, including dermatomal/multidermatomal disease (n = 5), disseminated skin disease (n = 5), HZ ophthalmicus (n = 4), meningitis/encephalitis (n = 4), pneumonia (n = 2), viremia (n = 1), and erythema multiforme (n = 1). Severe HZ infection occurred in a bimodal distribution during the early peri-HCT period and at 12 to 24 months post-HCT (median, 12.7 months). Twelve patients (54.5%) were compliant with ACV prophylaxis at the time of HZ diagnosis. Eleven patients (50%) died during the study period, only 2 of whom (9.1%) with active VZV infection. Mortality was higher in patients on immunosuppressive therapy (62.5% versus 16.7%; P = .045) and with concurrent graft-versus-host disease (75.0% versus 35.7%; P = .044). These data suggest that severe HZ remains an important consideration despite ACV prophylaxis. (C) 2019 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.
Eosinophils are surprisingly common in biopsy specimens of cutaneous herpes simplex virus and varicella zoster virus infections: Results of a comprehensive histopathologic and clinical appraisal
JOURNAL OF CUTANEOUS PATHOLOGY
Authors: Laggis, Caroline; Wada, David; Shah, Aatman; Zussman, Jamie
Background While usually straightforward, diagnostic features of cutaneous herpes simplex virus and varicella zoster virus infection (HSV/VZV) are not always present in biopsy specimens. Although intuitively the presence of eosinophils may lead the pathologist away from the diagnosis of cutaneous HSV/VZV infection, in our practice we have noted that eosinophils are often encountered in diagnostic specimens. Methods To deduce the frequency with which the inflammatory response accompanying cutaneous HSV/VZV infection includes significant numbers of eosinophils, we performed a retrospective review. We included 159 specimens from our database, diagnosed between 2009 and 2017. We determined the number of eosinophils in 10 high-power fields and noted additional histologic factors including presence of follicular involvement, ulceration, and pseudolymphomatous change. Results Of all included cases, 63% had 0-1 eosinophils, 24% had 2-10 eosinophils, and 13% had more than 10 eosinophils. Statistical analysis did not reveal a significant association between any demographic or histologic features examined and the presence of increased eosinophils. Conclusions In this study, more than one-third of biopsy specimens diagnostic of cutaneous HSV/VZV infection had a prominent number of eosinophils. The detection of eosinophils should not be unexpected and should not lessen diagnostic suspicion for cutaneous HSV/VZV infection.