A case of zoster sine herpete presenting with thoracic radicular pain diagnosed by polymerase chain reaction in skin exudate
Sang Hyeon Ku, Han Su Kim, Hyun Soo Kim, Eun Joo Park, Kwang Ho Kim, Kwang Joong Kim
DERMATOLOGICA SINICA 32 (2014) 180-182
Varicella zoster virus (VZV) can cause radicular pain in the absence of skin lesions; such cases are referred to as zoster sine herpete (ZSH) and are usually diagnosed by using serological assays or polymerase chain reaction (PCR). An effort is underway to detect VZV DNA in novel specimens rather than conventional samples (e.g., blood or cerebrospinal fluid) for PCR. There are two reports that PCR analysis in the exudate of the auricular skin can be a useful diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of ZSH in patients presenting with cranial nerve paralysis without herpetic eruptions. Here, we report a case of ZSH diagnosed by using PCR analysis of skin exudates in a patient who developed thoracic radicular pain. This is believed to be the first case of ZSH diagnosed using PCR analysis of skin exudate in a patient in whom the cranial nerve was not involved.
polymerase chain reaction, skin exudate, thoracic-distribution radicular pain, zoster sine herpete