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[Pain associated with craniofacial and cervical herpes zoster].

  • George, B
  • Lory, C
Published Article
Annales d'oto-laryngologie et de chirurgie cervico faciale : bulletin de la Société d'oto-laryngologie des hôpitaux de Paris
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2007
124 Suppl 1
PMID: 18047868


Ophthalmological and cervical involvement of herpes zoster virus ranks second and third, respectively, in terms of localization frequency. Involvement of the cranial nerves is a particular sign of complications, notably ocular complications, possibly compromising the visual or facial prognosis through involvement of the VIIth nerve, which is responsible for facial paralysis. These types of involvement should be rapidly diagnosed and treated so as to limit these complications. The pain associated with herpes zoster remains frequent and difficult to treat, even if today the criteria for defining postzoster pain is increasingly refined. Antalgic and antiviral treatment should be initiated early, from the very first signs, to attempt to reduce the incidence of this postzoster pain. The risk factors, associated with the development of postzoster pain are age over 50 years, the severity of the skin rash and the intensity of the acute pain, and the existence of a prodromic pain phase before onset. The European Federation of Neurological Societies has recently published guidelines on the pharmacological treatments for postzoster pain. Nerve block treatments remain at a limited evidence level. Patients with postzoster pain should be managed by teams specializing in pain management as soon as conventional treatments fail.

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