Varicella zoster virus in the temporal artery of a patient with giant cell arteritis

Published:October 14, 2013DOI:


      We recently detected varicella zoster virus (VZV) in the temporal arteries (TA) of 5/24 patients with clinically suspect giant cell arteritis (GCA) whose TAs were GCA-negative pathologically; in those GCA-negative, VZV + TAs, virus antigen predominated in the arterial adventitia, but without medial necrosis and multinucleated giant cells [1]. During our continuing search for VZV antigen in GCA-negative TAs, in the TA of one subject, we found abundant VZV antigen, as well as VZV DNA, in multiple regions (skip areas) of the TA spanning 350 μm, as well as in skeletal muscle adjacent to the infected TA. Additional pathological analysis of sections adjacent to those containing viral antigen revealed inflammation involving the arterial media and abundant multinucleated giant cells characteristic of GCA. Detection of VZV in areas of the TA with pathological features of GCA warrants further correlative pathological-virological analysis of VZV in GCA.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Journal of the Neurological Sciences
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Nagel M.A.
        • Bennett J.L.
        • Khmeleva N.
        • Choe A.
        • Rempel A.
        • Boyer P.J.
        • et al.
        Multifocal VZV vasculopathy with temporal artery infection mimics giant cell arteritis.
        Neurology. 2013; 80: 2017-2021
        • Cohrs R.J.
        • Gilden D.H.
        Prevalence and abundance of latently transcribed VZV genes in human ganglia.
        J Virol. 2007; 81: 2950-2956
        • Klein R.G.
        • Campbell R.J.
        • Hunder G.G.
        • Carney J.A.
        Skip lesions in temporal arteritis.
        Mayo Clin Proc. 1976; 51: 504-510
        • Dong X.D.
        • Mann M.K.
        • Sessle B.J.
        • Arendt-Nielsen L.
        • Svensson P.
        • Cairns B.E.
        Sensitivity of rat temporalis muscle afferent fibers to peripheral N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor activation.
        Neuroscience. 2006; 141: 939-945
        • Castrillon E.E.
        • Cairns B.E.
        • Wang K.
        • Arendt-Nielsen L.
        • Svensson P.
        Comparison of glutamate-evoked pain between the temporalis and masseter muscles in men and women.
        Pain. 2012; 153: 823-829
        • Olesen I.J.
        • Gulbenkian S.
        • Valença A.
        • Antunes J.L.
        • Wharton J.
        • Polak J.M.
        • et al.
        The peptidergic innervation of the human superficial temporal artery: immunohistochemistry, ultrastructure, and vasomotility.
        Peptides. 1995; 16: 275-287