Herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia in an elderly patient with critical COVID-19: A case report

Xueqin Cao, Xianwei Zhang, Weihua Meng, Hua Zheng

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Critical patients with COVID-19 are thought to be at high risk of developing chronic pain. However, the exact nature and mechanisms of COVID-19-related chronic pain remain largely unknown. Here, we describe clinical features, treatments and outcome of herpes zoster as well as postherpetic neuralgia in a 70-year-old woman with critical COVID-19. The patient had a history of type 2 diabetes and myasthenia gravis. She developed herpes zoster in the right 10 to 12 lumbar dermatomes in the recovery period of COVID-19. Intravenous (250 mg 3 times a day) and then oral (400 mg 5 times a day) acyclovir was used for antiviral therapy. Pregabalin (75 mg orally twice a day) and ibuprofen was used for analgesia. Her skin lesions resolved 21 days after the onset of rash. However, she continued to have persistent pain in the same dermatomal distribution. After the dosage of pregabalin was increased to 150 mg orally twice a day, her pain was partially relieved. During the telephone follow-up 4 months after herpes zoster eruption, the patient still complained intermittent pain in the right 10 to 12 lumbar dermatomes. Our case draws attention to postherpetic neuralgia in COVID-19 patients and provides a targeted suggestion for this kind of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2361-2365
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pain Research
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • Elderly patient
  • Herpes zoster
  • Postherpetic neuralgia
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia in an elderly patient with critical COVID-19: A case report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this