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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Varicella Zoster Meningitis with Hypoglycorrhachia on Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Analysis in a Young Immunocompetent Host without a Rash

Unusual clinical course, Challenging differential diagnosis

Mustafa Fadhel, Natasha Campbell, Swapnil Patel, Arman Mushtaq, Lito Fune, Arif Asif, Mohammad A. Hossain

USA Department of Medicine, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Hackensack Meridian Health, Neptune, NJ, USA

Am J Case Rep 2019; 20:701-704

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.915300

Available online: 2019-05-16

Published: 2019-05-16

BACKGROUND: Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is a common viral infection, with primary infection presenting as fevers and pruritic vesicular rash. After staying dormant in the dorsal root ganglia, reactivation can lead to secondary infection. Meningitis is a rare a complication of VZV infection.
CASE REPORT: We report a case of a 44-year-old woman with no past medical history, presenting with severe frontal headache without meningeal signs or fevers, found to have VZV meningitis. CSF analysis revealed hypoglycorrhachia and she was treated successfully with combination of intravenous acyclovir and oral valacyclovir.
CONCLUSIONS: VZV meningitis can present with subtle clinical signs and symptoms and should be considered as a possible etiology for headaches without identifiable cause.

Keywords: Headache Disorders, Herpesvirus 3, Human, Meningitis, Aseptic