Stroke Associated With Varicella Zoster Vasculopathy: A Clinicoradiological Profile of 3 Patients

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Varicella zoster (VZ) vasculopathy is a rare but well recognized cause of stroke. In the absence of zoster rash and infection in remote past, the disease can pose diagnostic challenge. We report 3 cases of anterior circulation stroke occurring in close temporal relation to VZ. Their clinical, radiologic, and angiographic features are discussed.

Case Report:

Of the 3 patients, 2 had stroke within a span of 4 to 6 weeks of herpes zoster ophthalmicus while the third patient had zoster of cervical dermatome. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed acute subcortical infarcts in 2, while 1 patient showed acute on chronic infarct in left middle cerebral artery territory. The magnetic resonance angiography was abnormal in 2 patients while it was normal in third. All the patients were treated with acyclovir and antiplatelets with good recovery in 2.


VZ associated vasculopathy may have diverse clinical profile and neuroimaging features. It should be considered as an important and treatable cause of stroke in appropriate clinical settings.

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