STEPHEN SCHIMPFF, M.D.; ARTHUR SERPICK, M.D., F.A.C.P.; BARRY STOLER, M.D.; BARRY RUMACK, M.D.; HAROLD MELLIN, M.D.; J. M. JOSEPH, Ph.D.; JEROME BLOCK, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Over a 24-month period, among 419 patients with cancer, zoster occurred in 25% of patients with Hodgkin's disease, 8.7% of other lymphoma patients, but in only 1.2% of patients with acute leukemia and 1.8% of patients with solid tumors. A disseminated or generalized form of zoster occurred in 12 of the 37 patients with zoster; these patients were more frequently DNCB-negative, but they were not necessarily receiving continuing cancer chemotherapy. Localization of zoster was frequently related to a site of prior radiation therapy. Recurrence of zoster occurred in 8 patients. Patients with advanced Hodgkin's disease, cutaneous anergy, and recent nodal radiotherapy were inordinately predisposed to zoster. Absent varicella-zoster complement fixation titers in exposed patients with lymphoma but not leukemia also predisposed to zoster development. Zoster was an exogenously acquired reinfection in many patients, with a prolonged incubation period. No exposed staff member developed clinical infection, and only two had an antibody rise.
SCHIMPFF S, SERPICK A, STOLER B, et al. Varicella-Zoster Infection in Patients with Cancer. Ann Intern Med. 1972;76:241–254. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-76-2-241
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1972;76(2):241-254.
Hematology/Oncology, Infectious Disease.
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