Journal of NeuroVirology

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 439–447 | Cite as

Cerebrovascular events after herpes zoster infection: a risk that should be not underestimated

  • Marco Zuin
  • Gianluca RigatelliEmail author
  • Alessandro Adami


The occurrence of a cerebrovascular event after a herpes zoster (HZ) infection represents a nightmare in clinical practice, especially in those patients with concomitant cardiovascular comorbidities/risk factors and disease related per se to a higher risk of zoster infection. Moreover, the absence of a consensus opinion regarding a specific and adequate prevention of cerebrovascular events in these patients further complicates the treatment. Accumulating evidences demonstrated that HZ and HZ ophtalmicus (HZO) increase the risk of cerebrovascular events in the short-and long-term periods. Moreover, patient’s ages < 40 years old, despite having fewer traditional cardiovascular comorbidities, demonstrated a higher risk of cerebrovascular events after both HZ and HZO infection. Further prospective studies are needed to analyse the role of antiviral treatments and vaccination in these subjects to clarify if they could be able to reduce the risk of stroke after a zoster infection. In the meanwhile, physicians must be aware of a higher risk of cerebrovascular events, especially in younger patients, with few cardiovascular risk factors, after an HZ infection.


Herpes zoster Stroke Cerebrovascular events 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Journal of NeuroVirology, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Zuin
    • 1
  • Gianluca Rigatelli
    • 2
    Email author
  • Alessandro Adami
    • 3
  1. 1.Section of Internal and Cardiopulmonary MedicineUniversity of FerraraFerraraItaly
  2. 2.Section of Adult Congenital and Adult Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Endoluminal InterventionsRovigo General HospitalVeronaItaly
  3. 3.Division of NeurologyStroke Center, SacroCuore-Don Calabria HospitalNegrarItaly

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