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Zoster Encephalitis, Varicella

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info-zoster-encephalitis-varicella

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Definition

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Inflammation of brain tissue caused by infection with the varicella-zoster virus (HERPESVIRUS 3, HUMAN). This condition is associated with immunocompromised states, including the ACQUIRED IMMUNODEFICIENCY SYNDROME. Pathologically, the virus tends to induce a vasculopathy and infect oligodendrocytes and ependymal cells, leading to CEREBRAL INFARCTION, multifocal regions of demyelination, and periventricular necrosis. Manifestations of varicella encephalitis usually occur 5-7 days after onset of HERPES ZOSTER and include HEADACHE; VOMITING; lethargy; focal neurologic deficits; FEVER; and COMA. (From Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1996, Ch 26, pp29-32; Hum Pathol 1996 Sep;27(9):927-38)

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