Acute shingles after resection of thoracic schwannoma

Tex Heart Inst J. 2012;39(2):265-7.


Herpes zoster is relatively uncommon after surgery in immunocompetent patients. To our knowledge, there have been no reports of herpes zoster after the resection of a thoracic schwannoma. We report the case of a 48-year-old woman in whom acute shingles developed after the video-assisted thoracic surgical resection of a posterior mediastinal schwannoma adjacent to the 4th thoracic vertebral body. The patient recovered after receiving timely antiviral therapy. Rash and pain are common in patients who have wound infections and contact dermatitis after surgery, so the possible reactivation of varicella virus might not be prominent in the surgeon's mind. This case serves as a reminder that viral infections such as shingles should be considered in the differential diagnosis of postoperative erythema and pain.

Keywords: Diagnosis, differential; herpes zoster/diagnosis/epidemiology/etiology; postoperative complications; skin diseases, viral/diagnosis/drug therapy; thoracic surgery, video-assisted; virus activation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Herpes Zoster / drug therapy
  • Herpes Zoster / virology*
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurilemmoma / diagnosis
  • Neurilemmoma / surgery*
  • Thoracic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Thoracic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted / adverse effects*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Virus Activation


  • Antiviral Agents