What is the central nervous system (CNS) involvement in varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection?

Updated: Feb 15, 2019
  • Author: Wayne E Anderson, DO, FAHS, FAAN; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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More common in immunocompromised individuals, but do occur in the general population

CNS involvement may become apparent 3 weeks after the onset of the initial rash

The manifestations are usually bilateral

The physical findings may progress

The underlying pathology typically progresses for 3 or more weeks

Progression for 6 months in immunocompromised individuals has been reported

Recurrence is rare but has been reported

Zoster encephalitis is also rare but is reported in otherwise healthy individuals

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