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ISSN : 1225-0082(Print)
ISSN : 2288-1905(Online)
The Medical Journal of Chosun University Vol.44 No.1 pp.33-37

Clinical characteristics of herpes zoster in children and adolescents

Ga Hee Kim,Jae Hee Lee,Kyung Rye Moon
Department of Pediatrics, Chosun University Hospital, Gwangju, Korea
Corresponding author Kyung Rye Moon Department of Pediatrics, Chosun University Hospital, 365 Pilmundaero, Dong-gu, Gwangju 61453, Korea Tel: +82-62-220-3043 Fax: +82-62-220-2094


Purpose: The incidence of pediatric herpes zoster has been increasing year by year. Pediatric herpes zoster is generally known to be less severe than adult cases, but may cause various complications such as secondary bacterial infections, encephalitis, meningitis, and Ramsay Hunt syndrome. In this study, we performed epidemiological and clinical investigations of children and adolescents diagnosed as herpes zoster. The incidence and clinical factors associated with complications of herpes zoster were studied. Methods: This study was retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 62 patients under 18 years who were diagnosed and treated with herpes zoster at Chosun University Hospital from 2007 to 2017. This patients were evaluated with regard to gender, age, dermatomal distributions, accompanying symptoms, underlying disease, treatment and complications. These patients were divided into two groups according to the presence or absence of complications. Results: Children under 18 years old account for 3.2% of all herpes zoster patients who were hospitalized at Chosun University Hospital from 2007 to 2017. The incidence of males was higher than that of females. The number of enrolled patients was increasing according to age. The number and the proportion of pediatric patients has been increasing year by year. Lesions of herpes zoster were most frequently found in the thoracic region, followed by the cervical, trigeminal, lumbar regions. The most common accompanying symptom was pain, followed by pruritus, fever, headache. Among the 62 cases, 27 cases (27.4%) were complicated by herpes zoster. Ramsay Hunt syndrome was the most common (16.1%), followed by meningitis and herpes ophthalmicus. Neither secondary bacterial infection nor postherpetic neuralgia were observed. Skin lesions in the trigeminal dermatomes was associated with complications (p=0.006). The mean of hospitalization period is longer in the group with complications (p=0.003). The patients accompanying symptoms such as headache was more likely to occur complications (p value<0.05). There was no difference in age, sex, and underlying disease between the two groups. Conclusion: Patients with complications had longer duration of treatment and had more frequent with trigeminal and cervical region. The patients accompanying symptom such as headache were more likely to occur complications.

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