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Papers: 15 Jun 2024 - 21 Jun 2024

2024 May 26

J Clin Med




Increased Risk of Herpes Zoster in Rheumatoid Arthritis Not Only Due to JAK Inhibitors-Study of 392 Patients from Single University Center.


Domínguez-Casas LC, Lasa-Teja C, Ferraz-Amaro I, Castañeda S, Blanco R


: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have an increased risk of infection. Their risk of presenting herpes zoster (HZ) is 1.5-2 times higher than immunocompetent individuals and disseminated presentation is more frequent. Our aim was to analyze the prevalence and general features of HZ in RA patients. : This was a prospective study of 392 RA patients included in the vaccination program of our hospital between 2011 and 2016, and follow-up continued until December 2020. A diagnosis of HZ was made according to clinical manifestations: skin rash, blisters, paresthesia, and local pain in one or more dermatomes. : We studied 392 participants (309 women/83 men), mean age 59 ± 13 years. Every patient was followed-up over a mean period of 137 ± 110 months (range: 42 months-42 years). HZ infection was observed in 30 of 392 (25 women/5 men) patients, age (mean ± SD) 64.7 ± 11.8 years. Prevalence was 7.65% in this period and the incidence rate was 13.22/1000 patients/year. Three patients had facial involvement, one had optic involvement, and one patient presented disseminated HZ. Seven patients presented post herpetic neuralgia treated with gabapentinoids. The main features of RA of these 30 patients were: positive RF (n = 17; 56.6%), positive anti-CCP (n = 13; 43.3%), and erosive disease (n = 10; 33.3%). At HZ infection, the treatments were glucocorticoids (n = 19; 63.3%), conventional DMARDs (n = 15; 50%), biological DMARDs (n = 15; 50%), tofacitinib (n = 2; 6.6%), and upadacitinib (n = 1; 3.3%). : HZ is a relatively frequent viral complication in RA patients. In our series, one patient presented disseminated HZ and nearly 25% of patients had post-herpetic neuralgia. Including a HZ vaccine in our vaccination program for RA patients may be beneficial.