1/1. Atypical recurrent varicella in 4 patients with hemopathies.Relapsing varicella may occur in children with hiv infection and more rarely in younger adults. Our aim was to report unusual clinical, histologic, and virologic aspects of 4 elderly patients with malignant hemopathies who had an unusual form of recurrent varicella develop. Conventional microscopy, immunohistochemistry, and in situ hybridization were applied to smears and skin biopsy specimens. The patients presented a few dozen, scattered, large, papulovesicular lesions with central crusting. No zoster-associated pain or dermatomal distribution of the lesions was noted. Conventional microscopy revealed vascular changes and epidermal alterations typical for alpha-herpes virus infection. The varicella zoster virus major viral envelope glycoproteins gE and gB, and the immediate-early varicella zoster virus IE63 protein and the corresponding genome sequence for gE were detected on Tzanck smears; they were localized in endothelial cells and keratinocytes on skin biopsy specimens. The varicella zoster virus infection in endothelial cells, the vascular involvement, and the widespread distribution of the lesions suggest that the reported eruptions are vascular rather than neural in origin. These findings invalidate the diagnosis of herpes zoster but strongly support the diagnosis of recurrent varicella in an indolent and yet unreported presentation. Furthermore, these eruptions differ from relapsing varicella in children and young adults by the age of the patients, the paucity of clinical lesions, the larger diameter of the lesions and their peculiar clinical aspect, the significantly longer time interval between primary varicella and the recurrence, the prolonged healing time of the lesions, their mild disease course, and the fact that all the lesions are in the same stage of development.
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keywords = varicella
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