Anaesthesiology / Ipoestesia Post Herpetic Zoster Infection
Authors: Massimo Viviano, Daniela Donati, Francesco Viviano and Guido Lorenzini
Abstract: Herpes zoster (Shingles), similar to HSV-1 (lip Herpes) and HSV-2 (genital Herpes), is a virus that has a characteristic neurotropism (alpha-herpes virus), i.e. after the first contact with the host and the possible primary manifestation (herpetic gengivostomatis, chicken-pox), it remains latent in the sensory ganglion on the skin or mucous section where the infection first occurred. The reappearance of the HSV-3 viral infection occurs many years after the first contact between the virus and the host, with a higher incidence in the 50 to 70 age group. The varicella-zoster virus persists throughout the entire life of the person infected, lying dormant in the spinal ganglia. An immune suppressed state, surgical stress, drug therapies can bring about the reactivation of the virus, usually with a metameric distribution which constitutes the framework for the secondary infection known as herpes zoster. Initial symptoms can include chills (shivers), fever, malaise and complaints (such as paresthesia or neuralgia) in the interested area; these symptoms persist for a few days (rarely more than 5-7) followed after a few days by the appearance of boils and/or blisters on the skin or mucus. The pain is constant, intermittent or triggered by stimuli such as clothes in contact with the skin, with an intensity varying from mild to excruciating; lasting a few minutes or developing in a chronic manner. Post herpetic neuralgia can last between 30 days to 6 months after the appearance of the rash. In some cases the pain can last years.