Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Post-varicella neurological complications: A preliminary observation from a tertiary care centre of Eastern India


1 Department of Neuromedicine, Bangur Institute of Neurosciences, IPGMER and SSKM Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Internal Medicine, RG Kar Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Atanu Chandra,
Doctor's Quarters (RG Kar Medical College Campus); 1, Khudiram Bose Sarani, Kolkata - 700 004, West Bengal
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aian.aian_270_21

Objectives: The objective of this study is to analyse detailed clinical presentations, imaging findings, and outcome in a series of 17 cases (n = 17) with neurological complications following acute varicella infection. Methods: It is an observational study on the patients who presented to the neurology outpatient department of our institute with neurological abnormalities following acute varicella infection within the last 3 months. Results: Neuroimaging, either computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, electroencephalography and nerve conduction studies were performed in all the patients along with other specialized investigations as per clinical context. The age of presentation varied from childhood to middle age (median age was 23 years) and range of clinical spectrum was also wide. Peripheral nervous system involvement was more common in the form of Guillain–Barré syndrome (29.4%) and isolated lower motor neuron facial nerve palsy (23.5%) compared to central nervous system (CNS) involvement. CNS involvement was documented in the form of ataxia (11.76%), myelopathy (17.6%), stroke (5.88%) and encephalitis (5.88%). Conclusion: Chickenpox is a common viral disease and most patients recover without any complication. Although rare, neurological complications following acute varicella infection may have myriad presentations ranging from lower motor neuron facial palsy to life-threatening encephalitis. Compared to other studies, varicella encephalitis and ataxia were not so common in our study group. Response to therapy was uniformly good except in the patients presenting with ataxia. Response was particularly good to central and peripheral demyelinating disorders.


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