What is the role of lab testing in the diagnosis of Ramsay Hunt syndrome?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Sombat Muengtaweepongsa, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Answer

The diagnosis of Ramsay Hunt syndrome is usually made without difficulty when the clinical characteristics are present. If necessary, varicella zoster virus (VZV) may be isolated from vesicle fluid and inoculated into susceptible human or monkey cells for identification by serologic means.

WBC count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and serum electrolytes are helpful in distinguishing the infectious and inflammatory nature of this syndrome.

When CNS complications are suspected (eg, meningitis, meningoencephalitis, myelitis, arteritis [large and small vessel], and ventriculitis), spinal fluid analysis and CNS imaging studies are recommended.


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