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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Postherpes simplex type 1 neuralgia simulating postherpetic neuralgia.

Patients with prodromal neuralgia associated with recurrent herpes simplex type 1 (HST1) infection and chronic facial pain following years of relapsing HST1 have been described. Chronic neuralgia following a single clinical HST1 infection and simulating postherpetic neuralgia has not been previously reported. Such a case is described: A 49-yr-old woman with a 2-mo history of oral-facial dyskinesia developed burning pain and hypersensitivity of the left side of the tongue, lower gum, and inner cheek, followed 1 day later by a vesicular rash in the same painful distribution. Viral cultures of the lesions identified HST1 but not herpes zoster. Cerebrospinal fluid analyses during the vesicular lesion stage and 1 mo later were normal with no viral growth. Oral and facial lesions resolved after 10 days; acyclovir was given for 3 wk. Brain and brainstem magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electroencephalogram, and brainstem evoked potential studies were normal. Hyperesthesias, allodynia, and burning pain persisted despite nonsteroidal antiinflammatory agents, codeine and hydrocodone. Oral opioids were administered until sedation occurred, with no relief of pain. The burning pain and hyperesthesia resolved after the 16th day of amitriptyline use, 75 mg/day. A trial off amitriptyline 6 mo later resulted in recurrence of pain, and amitriptyline was restarted with good pain control. Post-HST1 neuralgia may simulate postherpetic neuralgia clinically, and painful symptoms may respond to amitriptyline.[1]


  1. Postherpes simplex type 1 neuralgia simulating postherpetic neuralgia. Gonzales, G.R. Journal of pain and symptom management. (1992) [Pubmed]
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