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, RUMACK B, MELLIN H, JOSEPH JM, et al. Varicella-Zoster Infection in Patients with Cancer. Ann Intern Med. ;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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