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Arch Neurol. 1990 Sep;47(9):1033-5.

Cerebral vasculopathy associated with primary varicella infection.

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Department of Neurology, University Hospital, Leiden, The Netherlands.


A previously healthy 5-year-old boy developed cerebral vasculopathy, presenting as two episodes of acute hemiparesis 3 and 9 months, respectively, after a primary varicella infection (chickenpox). This association has not been reported before, to our knowledge, although cerebral vasculopathy is a well-known complication of herpes zoster ophthalmicus. The diagnosis was based on the presence of oligoclonal varicella-specific IgG in the cerebrospinal fluid and angiographic findings. Clinical and angiographic follow-up, and serial thymidine kinase activity levels in the cerebrospinal fluid suggested a self-limiting course of the virus-induced vasculopathy. Varicella zoster virus seems to be another potential causative agent to be considered in acute childhood hemiplegia.

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