Herpes Zoster Duplex Bilateralis in an Immunocompetent Adolescent Boy: A Case Report and Literature Review



Simultaneous involvement of herpes zoster in multiple dermatomes is uncommon, and even more so in immunocompetent individuals. We report a case wherein a healthy adolescent boy presented with herpes zoster in two distinct dermatomes, raising concern for immunodeficiency, but he was found to be immunocompetent on further testing. A 14-year-old boy with no significant past medical history developed painless vesicular eruptions in two distinct distributions. Varicella zoster virus polymerase chain reaction was positive from unroofed vesicles in both regions. Initial laboratory studies disclosed abnormalities of unknown significance in natural killer (NK) cell percentage and function. The patient was treated with appropriate antiviral therapy. Repeat studies while healthy were not suggestive of an underlying NK cell defect. There are few case reports describing herpes zoster in two or more dermatomes in children. Previously described presentations most commonly occurred in the context of primary immunodeficiency, acquired immunodeficiency, or immunosuppressive medications. Because of the rarity of this presentation in immunocompetent patients, the authors recommend a thorough immune evaluation of all children presenting with isolated multidermatomal zoster.