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Varicella-Zoster meningitis with normal CSF cellularity: A rare case report.


Sabbagh B, Seijari M N, Albuni M K, Barakat M, Alfitori GB
IDCases. 2022; 28:e01484.
PMID: 35392597.


Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) meningitis is a one of the manifestations of VZV reactivation which usually presents with fever, headache, and is sometimes preceded by a dermatomal vesicular rash. CSF analysis is the cornerstone investigation in helping to identify the causative organism or in orienting the physician toward a possible agent. CSF analysis in Viral meningitis usually reveals lymphocytic pleocytosis. However, normal CSF analysis with viral meningitis -despite being rare- has been reported especially with bacterial causes. Therefore, a first CSF puncture cannot rule out infection and a second one might be warranted if there is still high suspicion of viral meningitis with no diagnosis made by PCR. Here we present a case of an 89-year-old female who had signs and symptoms of meningitis with normal CSF analysis. However, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was positive for VZV. The patient was treated accordingly, and she recovered fully.