1992 - Therapy of Disseminated Herpes Zoster

Subject
Therapy of Disseminated Herpes Zoster

Authors
Whitley RJ. Gnann JW Jr. Hinthorn D. Liu C. Pollard RB. Hayden F. Mertz GJ. Oxman M. Soong SJ.

Source
Journal of Infectious Diseases. 165(3):450-5, 1992 Mar.

Abstract
Seventy-three immunocompromised patients with disseminated herpes zoster were evaluated in a double-blind controlled trial of acyclovir (n = 37) versus vidarabine (n = 36) therapy. Acyclovir was administered at 30 mg/kg/day at 8-h intervals and vidarabine was given as a continuous 12-h infusion at 10 mg/kg/day for 7 days (longer if resolution of cutaneous or visceral disease was incomplete). No demographic differences existed between treatment groups. No deaths attributable to varicella-zoster virus infection occurred within 1 month of treatment. Neither rates of cutaneous healing, resolution of acute neuritis, and frequency of postherpetic neuralgia nor adverse clinical and laboratory events differed between treatment groups. Acyclovir recipients were discharged from the hospital more promptly than vidarabine recipients (P = .04, log rank test). These data indicate that disseminated herpes zoster is amenable to therapy with either acyclovir or vidarabine; resultant mortality is low.

1991 - Neonatal HSV: Comparison of vidarabine with acyclovir

Subject
Neonatal HSV: Comparison of vidarabine with acyclovir

Authors
n/a

Source
New England Journal of Medicine 324:444-449.

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Despite the use of vidarabine, herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection in neonates continues to be a disease of high morbidity and mortality. We undertook a controlled trial comparing vidarabine with acyclovir for the treatment of neonatal HSV infection. METHODS: Babies less than one month of age with virologically confirmed HSV infection were randomly and blindly assigned to receive either intravenous vidarabine (30 mg per kilogram of body weight per day; n = 95) or acyclovir (30 mg per kilogram per day; n = 107) for 10 days. Actuarial rates of mortality and morbidity among the survivors after one year were compared overall and according to the extent of the disease at entry into the study (infection confined to the skin, eyes, or mouth; encephalitis; or disseminated disease). RESULTS: After adjustment for differences between groups in the extent of disease, there was no difference between vidarabine and acyclovir in either morbidity (P = 0.83) or mortality (P = 0.27). None of the 85 babies with disease confined to the skin, eyes, or mouth died. Of the 31 babies in this group who were treated with vidarabine and followed for a year, 88 percent were judged to be developing normally after one year, as compared with 98 percent of the 54 treated with acyclovir (95 percent confidence interval for the difference, -4 to 24). For the 71 babies with encephalitis, mortality was 14 percent with vidarabine and with acyclovir; of the survivors, 43 percent and 29 percent, respectively, were developing normally after one year (95 percent confidence interval for the difference, -11 to 39). For the 46 babies with disseminated disease, mortality was 50 percent with vidarabine and 61 percent with acyclovir (95 percent confidence interval for the difference, -20 to 40); of the survivors, 58 percent and 60 percent , respectively, were judged to be developing normally after one year (95 percent confidence interval for the difference, -40 to 50). Both medications were without serious toxic effects. CONCLUSIONS: In this multicenter, randomized, blinded study there were no differences in outcome between vidarabine and acyclovir in the treatment of neonatal HSV infection. The study lacked statistical power to determine whether there were sizable differences within the subgroups of those with localized HSV, encephalitis, or disseminated disease.

1991 - Predictors and mortality in neonates with HSV

Subject
Predictors and mortality in neonates with HSV

Authors
Whitley R. Arvin A. Prober C. Corey L. Burchett S. Plotkin S. Starr S. Jacobs R. Powell D. Nahmias A. et al

Source
New England Journal of Medicine. 324(7):450-4, 1991 Feb 14.

Abstract
BACKGROUND: In a controlled trial comparing acyclovir with vidarabine in the treatment of neonatal herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection, we found no significant difference between the treatments in adjusted mortality and morbidity. Hence, we sought to define for the entire cohort (n = 202) the clinical characteristics that best predicted the eventual outcome in these neonates. METHODS: Data were gathered prospectively at 27 centers between 1981 and 1988 in infants less than one month of age who had virologically confirmed HSV infection. We examined the outcomes by multivariate analyses of 24 variables. Disease was classified in one of three categories based on the extent of the involvement at entry into the trial: infection confined to skin, eyes, or mouth; encephalitis; or disseminated infection. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: There were no deaths among the 85 infants with localized HSV infection. The mortality rate was significantly higher in the 46 neonates with disseminated infection (57 percent) than in the 71 with encephalitis (15 percent). In addition, the risk of death was increased in neonates who were in or near coma at entry (relative risk, 5.2), had disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (relative risk, 3.8), or were premature (relative risk, 3.7). In babies with disseminated disease, HSV pneumonitis was also associated with greater mortality (relative risk, 3.6). In the survivors, morbidity was most frequent in infants with encephalitis (relative risk, 4.4), disseminated infection (relative risk, 2.1), seizures (relative risk, 3.0), or infection with HSV type 2 (relative risk, 4.9). With HSV infection limited to the skin, eyes, or mouth, the presence of three or more recurrences of vesicles was associated with an increased risk of neurologic impairment as compared with two or fewer recurrences.

1990 - PCR Detection of HSV DNA in CSF

Subject
PCR Detection of HSV DNA in CSF

Authors
Rowley AH. Whitley RJ. Lakeman FD. Wolinsky SM.

Source
JAMA. 262(2):234-9, 1989 Jul 14.

Abstract
Herpes-simplex-virus (HSV) DNA in cerebrospinal fluid was amplified by use of the polymerase chain reaction and identified by hybridisation to a specific oligonucleotide probe. Specimens of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from 4 of 4 patients with herpes simplex encephalitis were positive for HSV DNA, whereas CSF specimens from 6 patients with other central-nervous-system infections were negative. This technique may expedite diagnosis of herpes simplex encephalitis.