What are the possible neurologic complications of herpes zoster ophthalmicus in HIV infection?

Updated: Jun 12, 2019
  • Author: Robert A Copeland, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Neurologic complications of HZO may include the following:

  • Optic neuritis: usually rare, and can cause severe visual loss; vasculitis

  • Encephalitis: rare, and can cause profound visual loss as a result of acute viral damage

  • Hemiplegia: rare, contralateral; due to the associated vasculitis

  • External ocular muscle palsies: usually ipsilateral, recovery is good

  • Acute neuralgia: due to stimulation of pain afferents by inflammation; resolves in most cases

  • Postherpetic neuralgia: usually starts after the rash resolves; tends to be worse with advancing age; neuralgia may be peripheral or central; also may arise from larger nerve fiber loss in central pathways

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