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Infection. 1998 Nov-Dec;26(6):359-63.

A prognostic score for postherpetic neuralgia in ambulatory patients.

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SmithKline Beecham Pharma GmbH, München, Germany.


The main objective was to develop a scoring system for easy use by the physician in daily clinical practice in deciding the appropriate treatment for his herpes zoster patient. Data from 635 patients who did not receive antiviral therapy were included in this analysis. Of these, 131 developed postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Of the 29 variables tested univariately in this study, 15 showed a significant correlation with the incidence of PHN, but only six proved to contribute to the overall predictive power in the multivariate approach. Using two independent approaches, the model showed a very satisfactory performance in the validation sample. Patients without acute pain rarely developed PHN. In those with acute pain, being female, being over 50 years of age, having more than 50 lesions, having lesions of a hemorrhagic nature, having cranial or sacral localisation of the rash or having pain in the prodromal phase proved to be significant, multivariate factors. An easy-to-use scoring system used in a risk graph is proposed. These data should be useful in the individual treatment decision as well as in the design and analysis of therapeutic trials in herpes zoster.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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