Complications Of Hz

Although PHN is numerically the most common complication by far, other adverse events may result and some are serious or life threatening. These occur most frequently in immunocompromised and frail, elderly individuals and include secondary bacterial infection, ophthalmic sequelae ranging from conjunctivitis to retinal necrosis, encephalitis, and myelitis.8 Two to three percent of HZ cases are hospitalized and more than 10 percent of patients >65 years. Annual mortality of HZ is estimated to be 0.6-1 per million of the population.9,10 Motor nerves maybe involved in 5-15 percent of cases where these can be adequately examined (especially muscles in the extremities). Using an electromyogram (EMG), it is possible to show that muscles are involved in 50 percent of cases.11 VZV is frequently involved in cases of Bell's palsy.

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