What are the signs and symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN)?

Updated: Mar 06, 2018
  • Author: W Alvin McElveen, MD; Chief Editor: Robert A Egan, MD  more...
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  • A painful vesicular eruption in a dermatomal distribution is typical of herpes zoster (HZ).

  • With resolution of the eruption, pain that continues for 3 months or more is defined as postherpetic neuralgia (PHN).

  • Pain is intense and may be described as burning, stabbing, or gnawing.

  • HZ can reactivate subclinically with pain in a dermatomal distribution without rash. [4] This condition is known as zoster sine herpete and may be more complicated, affecting multiple levels of the nervous system and causing multiple cranial neuropathies, polyneuritis, myelitis, or aseptic meningitis. [5]

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