ACHIA

1996-95


1996 - Acyclovir With and Without Prednisone For the Treatment of Herpes Zoster

Subject
Acyclovir With and Without Prednisone For the Treatment of Herpes Zoster

Authors
Whitley RJ. Weiss H. Gnann JW Jr. Tyring S. Mertz GJ. Pappas PG. Schleupner CJ. Hayden F. Wolf J. Soong SJ.
 

Source
Annals of Internal Medicine. 125(5):376-83, 1996 Sep 1
 

Abstract 
OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of acyclovir and prednisone treatment of herpes zoster on chronic pain and quality-of-life outcomes. DESIGN: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study with a 2 x 2 factorial design. SETTING: 15 university hospitals or affiliated clinics. PATIENTS: 208 immunocompetent patients older than 50 years of age who had localized herpes zoster that developed less than 72 hours before study enrollment. INTERVENTION: Acyclovir or a matched placebo was administered orally, 800 mg five times daily, for 21 days. Prednisone or a matched placebo was administered orally at 60 mg/d for the first 7 days, 30 mg/d for days 8 to 14, and 15 mg/d for days 15 to 21. The four treatments regimens given were acyclovir plus prednisone; acyclovir plus prednisone placebo; prednisone plus acyclovir placebo; and placebos for both acyclovir and prednisone. MEASUREMENTS: Patients were monitored daily for the first 28 days for lesion healing, resolution of pain, return to usual activity, and return to uninterrupted sleep. Monitoring was then done monthly for 6 months. Patients documented analgesic requirements each day, and adverse events and laboratory abnormalities were recorded at each clinical visit. An intention-to-treat analysis was used. RESULTS: Patients were randomly allocated to receive one of the four regimens. Demographic characteristics were similar for each group. Time to total crusting and healing was accelerated for patients receiving acyclovir plus prednisone compared with patients receiving two placebos; the risk ratios were 2.27 (95% Cl, 1.46 to 3.55) for total crusting and 2.07 (Cl, 1.26 to 3.38) for healing. Similarly, compared with the placebo group, patients receiving acyclovir plus prednisone had accelerated time to cessation of acute neuritis (risk ratio, 3.02 [Cl, 1.42 to 6.41]), time to return to uninterrupted sleep (risk ratio, 2.12 [Cl, 1.25 to 3.58]); time to return to usual daily activity (risk ratio, 3.22 [Cl, 1.92 to 5.40]); and time to cessation of analgesic therapy (risk ratio, 3.15 [Cl, 1.69 to 5.89]). In the acyclovir plus prednisone group, resolution of pain during the 6 months after disease onset did not statistically differ from that in the other groups. No important clinical or laboratory adverse events occurred in any group. CONCLUSIONS: In relatively healthy persons older than 50 years of age who have localized herpes zoster, combined acyclovir and prednisone therapy can improve quality of life.

1996 - Applications of PCR in Neonatal Herpes

Subject
Application of the polymerase chain reaction to the diagnosis and management of neonatal herpes simplex virus disease

Authors
Kimberlin DW. Lakeman FD. Arvin AM. Prober CG. Corey L. Powell DA. Burchett SK. Jacobs RF. Starr SE. Whitley JR.

Source
Journal of Infectious Diseases. 174(6):1162-7, 1996 Dec.

Abstract
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens from 77 neonates with herpes simplex virus (HSV) disease were evaluated retrospectively by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Samples were collected from 202 infants enrolled in a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Collaborative Antiviral Study Group trial that compared vidarabine with acyclovir for the treatment of neonatal HSV infection. HSV DNA was detected in the CSF of 26 (76%) of 34 infants with CNS disease, in 13 (93%) of 14 infants with disseminated infection, and in 7 (24%) of 29 with skin, eye, or mouth (SEM) involvement. One of the 7 PCR-positive SEM patients subsequently developed severe neurologic impairment. Eighteen (95%) of 19 infants with positive CSF PCR results after the completion of 10 days of antiviral therapy experienced significant morbidity or mortality. Application of PCR to neonatal HSV disease may provide additional information on which clinical decisions may be based, although its diagnostic utility outside the research setting is unproven.

1995 - Application of PCR to Diagnosis of HSE

Subject
Application of PCR to Diagnosis of HSE

Authors
Lakeman FD. Whitley RJ.


Source
Journal of Infectious Diseases. 171(4):857-63, 1995 Apr.

Abstract
Isolation of herpes simplex virus (HSV) from brain tissue after biopsy has been considered the reference standard for the diagnosis of herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE). During the evaluation of antiviral treatment of HSE, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was obtained from patients with clinical disease indicative of HSE who underwent diagnostic brain biopsy. HSV DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in CSF of 53 (98%) of 54 patients with biopsy-proven HSE and was detected in all 18 CSF specimens obtained before brain biopsy from patients with proven HSE. Four of 19 CSF specimens were positive after 2 weeks of antiviral therapy. Positive results were found in 3 (6%) of 47 patients whose brain tissue was culture-negative. Detection of HSV DNA in the CSF correlated significantly with age and focal radiographic findings. Thus, PCR detection of HSV DNA should be the standard for diagnosis of HSE.