Varicella-zoster virus symptoms and polyneuropathy in a patient with human immunodeficiency virus infection not improved until highly active anti-retroviral therapy added to acyclovir therapy

Hiroaki Takeoka, Yong Chong, Masayuki Murata, Norihiro Furusyo, Shigeki Nabeshima, Kouzaburo Yamaji, Yasuhiro Kishihara, Jun Hayashi

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In March 2003, a 34-year-old man with left facial palsy, dysphagia, and hoarseness treated with acyclovir suffered worsened dermatological and neurological problems. A routine blood test in early April showed the patient to be HIV-antibody positive, so he was transferred to our hospital. Blood analysis showed serum HIV-RNA at 96,000 copies/mL and a CD 4 count of 170/microL. Brain MRI taken on admission showed a T 2 high lesion in their left medulla. Acyclovir was thought to be ineffective due to reduced cell-mediated immunity because of the HIV infection, and HAART therapy was begun. After two months of HAART, skin lesions and the T 2 high lesion in left medulla improred. HIV-RNA became undetectable and the CD 4 count exceeded 500/microL. Intracellular cytokine analysis by flow cytometry showed a shift from Th 2 to Th 1 dominance. The elimination of VZV may thus have been promoted by the combination of acyclovir and HAART.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-50
Number of pages5
JournalKansenshogaku zasshi. The Journal of the Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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