Varicella-zoster virus leukoencephalitis and cerebral vasculopathy

S. Morgello, G. A. Block, R. W. Price, C. K. Petito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Two patients with varicella-zoster virus leukoencephalitis and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome are described. Neither patient had cutaneous or disseminated varicella-zoster virus infection within the last six months of life. Demyelinated lesions resembling those of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy were seen in their brains at autopsy. Numerous cells with Cowdry type A intranuclear inclusions surrounded the lesions; these cells stained positively for varicella-zoster virus with immunohistochemistry and contained herpesvirus nucleocapsids by electron microscopy. Leptomeningeal vessels accompanying the lesions displayed a zoster-induced vasculopathy in one of the two patients. Vascular and parenchymal central nervous system infections with varicella-zoster virus are rare in the absence of cutaneous lesions, and to our knowledge, the presence of both in one patient has not yet been described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-177
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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