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Anaesthesist. 2002 Nov;51(11):925-8.

[Ulcerating Herpes simplex infections in intensive care patients].

[Article in German]

Author information

1
Universitätsklinik und Poliklinik für Dermatologie und Venerologie, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. matthias.fischer@medizin.uni-halle.de

Abstract

Herpes simplex infections are potentially a life-threatening situation for immunocompromised as well as critically ill patients. The correct diagnosis is made more difficult in comatose patients by the fact that the characteristic symptom of extreme pain cannot be registered. The clinical dermatological findings (polycyclic configuration, easily bleeding ulcers) are thus especially important in patients under intensive care conditions. As examples, the cases of 3 critically ill patients (subarachnoid bleeding or head injury) developing therapy-resistant, flat sacral or perioral skin ulcers with peripheral blisters are presented. Herpes simplex virus was confirmed immunohistologically and in the smear test. All patients subsequently died. These cases emphasize that patients in the intensive care unit are in danger of developing a chronic persistent Herpes simplex infection due to latent immunosuppression. Chronic persistent Herpes infections may be underrated in intensive therapy, and must always be ruled out in case of therapy-resistant erosions or ulcerations.

PMID:
12434268
DOI:
10.1007/s00101-002-0394-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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