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Keimyung Medical Journal 2016;35(2):147-152.
Published online December 19, 2016.
Severe Chicken Pox in an Immunocompromised Host after Chemotherapy.
Jin Woong Jung, Jun Il Kwon, Sung Ae Kim, Young Wook Ryoo
Department of Dermatology, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea. ryoo111@dsmc.or.kr
Abstract
Chicken pox is highly contagious and occurs most often in childhood. In normal children, systemic symptoms are usually mild and serious complications are rare. But in adults, especially in immunocompromised patients, it is more likely to be associated with life-threatening complications such as pneumonia, encephalitis and sepsis. A 38-year-old woman was admitted due to headache, fever and multiple umbilicated vesicles on face, trunk and both extremities for 3 days. She underwent chemotherapy for the breast cancer 20 days prior to admission. Based on typical clinical presentation and skin biopsy, she was diagnosed with chicken pox. Despite 5 days of intensive intravenous antiviral therapy (Acyclovir® 30 mg/kg/day), fever and headache continued and epigastric pain occurred. Finally, the patient was recovered from varicella after additional 7 days of antiviral therapy. Generally, old age or immunocompromised hosts have declined cellular immunity, so the incidence of chicken pox is higher and the clinical course is more severe. Herein, we report a case of chicken pox in the patient who underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer, requiring intensive treatment and close observation for systemic symptoms.
Key Words: Adult, Breast cancer, Chemotherapy, Chicken pox
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