Herpes zoster is the consequence of the reactivation of latent varicella-zoster infection.
Immunosuppression may be a predisposing factor for herpes zoster.
In this study, doctors from Spain assessed the risk of herpes zoster, the risk factors for its occurrence, and its evolution in 209 consecutive liver transplant recipients.
The team found that herpes zoster developed in 12% of patients.
They calculated that the 1-, 3-, 5-, and 10-year actuarial rates of herpes zoster were 3%, 10%, 14%, and 18%, respectively.
The doctors determined that the patients who developed herpes zoster were younger, received a greater number of immunosuppressive drugs, and were more frequently receiving mycophenolate mofetil or azathioprine.
They found that the only factor related to herpes zoster occurrence on multivariate analysis was treatment with mycophenolate mofetil or azathioprine.
|Treatment with mycophenolate mofetil or azathioprine was the only factor related to recurrence.|
Of the patients who developed herpes zoster, 31% developed postherpetic neuralgia.
Dr Ignacio Herrero and colleagues concluded, "Herpes zoster is a relatively common complication after liver transplantation".
"It is related to immunosuppressive therapy."
"Post-herpetic neuralgia develops in one third of patients with post-transplant herpes zoster."