Published: 2017-09-28

Epidemiological study of herpes zoster in a tertiary care hospital

Nekram Baghel, Sankalp Awasthi, Sweta S. Kumar


Background: Herpes Zoster, which presents as a localized, painful cutaneous eruption is a common clinical problem, caused by reactivation of latent Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) and is usually self- limiting in healthy adults. In this era of HIV infection, HIV seropositive patients are at increased risk of severe or disseminated cutaneous or visceral involvement. Aim was to analyse the clinical pattern and epidemiological factors of Herpes Zoster and to know the HIV prevalence among patients with Herpes Zoster.

Methods: A total of 110 patients with Herpes Zoster attending dermatology department at Uttar Pradesh university of medical sciences (UPUMS), Saifai, Etawah, India from a period of July 2015 to July 2017 were included in the study.

Results: Out of 110 patients, 79 were males 31 were females. Age group varied from 8-80 years. Most common dermatomes involved were thoracic followed by ophthalmic division of trigeminal nerve. 33.6% of patients showed HIV seropositivity. Most commonly observed complication was post herpetic neuralgia which was encountered in 36% of the patients and most of these patients were above the age of 60 years. Post herpetic neuralgia was more commonly seen in seropositive individuals as compared to seronegative individuals.

Conclusions: Disseminated zoster and multi-dermatomal involvement were encountered in immuno-compromised individuals. Post herpetic neuralgia was seen in elderly patients, especially in case of ophthalmic zoster.



Herpes zoster, HIV seropositivity, Post herpetic neuralgia, Trigeminal nerve

Full Text:



Pavithran K. A clinical study of five hundred cases of herpes zoster. Antiseptic. 1986;83:682-5.

Peeneys N. Diseases caused by viruses. In: Elder D, editor. Lever's Histopathology of the skin. 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven; 1997:569-589.

Whitley RJ. Varicella zoster virus. In: Mandell GL, Bennet JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and practice of infectious diseases. 4th ed. New York: Churchill Livingstone; 1995:1345-1351.

Sampathkumar P, Drag LA, Martin DP. Herpes zoster (shingles) and post herpetic neuralgia. Mayo Clin Proc. 2009;84:274-80.

Schacker T, Corey L. Herpes virus infections in HIV infected person. In: Devita VT, Hailman Samuel, Lisenberg SA, eds. Textbook of AIDS. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven; 1997:267-280.

Smith KJ, Skelton HG, Yeager J. Cutaneous findings in HIV- 1 positive patients: A 42 - months’ prospective study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1994;3:746-54.

Watson PN, Evens RJ. Post herpetic neuralgia: A review. Arch Neural. 1986;43:836-40.

Happenjans WB, Bibler MR, Orme RL. Prolonged cutaneous herpes zoster in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Arch Dermatol. 1988;126:1048.

Reusser P. Herpesvirus resistance to antiviral drugs: A review of the mechanisms, clinical importance and therapeutic options. J Hosp Infect. 1996;33:235-48.

Bernhard P, Obel N. Chronic ulcerating acyclovir resistant varicella zoster lesions in an AIDS patient. Scand J Infect Dis. 1996;27:623-5.

Laxmisha C, Thappa D, Jaisankar T. The sepectrum of varicella zoster virus, a hospital based study in south India. IJDVL. 2004;49:28-31.

Das A L, Sayal S K, Gupta C M, Chatterjee M. Herpes zoster in patient with HIV. IJDVL. 1997;63(2):101-14.

Jain A, Singal A, Baruah MC. Herpes zoster in nine-months-old infants. IJDVL. 1999;65:294-5.

Mathur MP, Mathur AK, Saxena HC, Bhatia RK. Herpes zoster- a clinical study. J Ind Med Assoc. 1967-49:237-40.

Chaudhary SD, Dashore A, Pahwa US. a clinic epidemiology profile of herpes zoster in north india, IJDVL. 1987:53:213-6.

Dubey AK, Jaisankar TJ, Thappa DM. Clinical and morphological characteristics of herpes zoster in South India. Indian J Dermatol. 2005;50(4):203.