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Open Access Increased Density of Cutaneous Nerve Fibres in the Affected Dermatomes After Herpes Zoster Therapy

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Herpes zoster neural injury was assessed by determining cutaneous nerve density in skin biopsies from the affected dermatomes of 35 adult patients with herpes zoster in the acute phase and 3 months post-treatment, using protein gene product 9.5 immunohistochemistry. In contrast to the significant increase in subepidermal nerve fibre density (11.77 ± 4.88/mm vs. 13.29 ± 5.74/mm, p = 0.045) after 3 months, no differences were found in epidermal free nerve endings (2.43 ± 2.35/mm and 2.8 ± 2.86/mm, p = 0.168). Patients with post-herpetic neuralgia had significantly lower subepidermal nerve fibre densities (9.7 ± 2.05/mm vs. 14.72 ± 6.13/mm, p = 0.011) compared to with non-post-herpetic neuralgia patients. No differences in cutaneous nerve density were found in relation to antiviral therapy. In conclu sion, 3 months after acute infection, no sign of epidermal innervation recovery is observed, while the increased subepidermal nerve fibre density in the affected dermatomes probably reflects nerve regeneration that is not affected by antiviral agent type. Subepidermal nerve fibre density is decreased in patients with post-herpetic neuralgia 3-months post-acute herpes zoster infection.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2014

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  • Acta Dermato-Venereologica is a bi-monthly international peer-reviewed journal for clinical and experimental research in the field of dermatology and venereology.

    It was founded in 1920 by Johan Almqvist and edited during 1936-1969 by Sven Hellerström. Since 1970, the journal has been published for the Society for the Publication of Acta Dermato-Venereologica on a non-profit basis.

    Acta Dermato-Venereologica publishes high-quality manuscripts in English dealing with new observations on basic dermatological and venereological research, as well as clinical investigations. Each volume also features a number of review articles in special areas, as well as short Letters to the Editor to stimulate debate and to disseminate important clinical observations. Acta Dermato-Venereologica has rapid publication times and is amply illustrated with a large number of colour photographs to enhance understanding.

    Acta Dermato-Venereologica covers inter alia:

    • ~ Atopic dermatitis and contact allergy
    • ~ Facial dermatoses and adnexal disorders
    • ~ New treatments
    • ~ Psoriasis and genodermatoses
    • ~ Psychodermatology
    • ~ Sexually transmitted diseases
    • ~ Skin biology and inflammation
    • ~ Skin cancer and pigmentation
    • ~ Skin immunology and lymphoma
    • ~ Urticaria and itch

    Extensive papers, proceedings from congresses and symposia are printed as supplements to the journal. Announcements concerning pertinent dermatological meetings and books received are also published.
    Readership: Doctors and scientists interested in dermatology, skin biology and venereology.

    Acta Dermato-Venereologica has an impact factor of 3.007.

    Issues between 1998 up to 2005 can be found at

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