Zoster sine herpete, a clinical variant

Ann Neurol. 1994 May;35(5):530-3. doi: 10.1002/ana.410350505.


Two otherwise healthy immunocompetent men, ages 62 and 66 years, experienced years of radicular pain without zoster rash. An extensive search for systemic disease and malignancy was negative. Varicella-zoster virus DNA, but not herpes simplex virus DNA, was found in the cerebrospinal fluid of the first patient 5 months after the onset of pain, and in the second patient 8 months after the onset of pain. Prolonged radicular pain without zoster rash combined with the presence of varicella-zoster virus in the cerebrospinal fluid indicates that both men had zoster sine herpete, and strongly supports this syndrome as a clinical variant.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acyclovir / therapeutic use
  • Aged
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / microbiology
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Herpes Zoster / microbiology*
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / immunology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • DNA, Viral
  • Acyclovir