Cerebral vasculopathy associated with primary varicella infection

Arch Neurol. 1990 Sep;47(9):1033-5. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1990.00530090115023.


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.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Chickenpox / complications*
  • Chickenpox / diagnosis
  • Child, Preschool
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Male
  • Spinal Cord / blood supply*


  • Immunoglobulin G