Chronic Herpes Zoster Duplex Bilateralis
Charlotte Castronovo , Arjen F. Nikkels
Although varicella zoster virus latency has been demonstrated in several sensory ganglia, herpes zoster usually effects only one single, either left or right, dermatome in half of the body. In immunocompromised patients, more than one contiguous unilateral dermatome may be involved. Bilateral non-contiguous herpes zoster, also termed herpes zoster duplex, is rarely reported. Chronic varicella zoster virus skin infection is another rare entity encountered in HIV-infected and immunocompromised patients, often associated with aciclovir resistance. We describe here a patient with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, who presented simultaneously non-contiguous bilateral and chronic herpes zoster lasting for more than 2 months, with resistance to aciclovir. To our knowledge, this is the first report of chronic herpes zoster duplex bilateralis. Physicians should be aware of and recognize these atypical manifestations of varicella zoster virus.