The value of cerebrospinal fluid antiviral antibody in the diagnosis of neurologic disease produced by varicella zoster virus

D. H. Gilden, J. L. Bennett, B. K. Kleinschmidt-Demasters, D. D. Song, A. S. Yee, I. Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

We studied four patients with subacute to chronic varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection of the central nervous system (CNS). VZV infection was verified by detecting antibody to VZV in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). VZV caused myelitis in two patients and encephalitis in two patients. In one of the patients with VZV encephalitis, in addition to VZV IgM antibody, VZV DNA was found in the CSF. Among the four patients with VZV infection of the CNS, CSF antibody to VZV was the crucial diagnostic laboratory test which corroborated the clinical features, and indicated that VZV caused neurologic disease. In addition to looking for amplifiable VZV DNA in the CSF of patients with neurologic disease whose clinical and radiologic features suggest VZV infection, we also recommend a search for CSF antibody to VZV, particularly in patients with intervals of weeks to months between zoster and the onset of neurologic disease, or in those patients without rash in whom the tempo of illness is unknown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-144
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Volume159
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 14 Aug 1998
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antibody
  • CSF
  • Myelitis
  • PCR
  • VZV encephalitis

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