Disseminated herpes simplex infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It is a serious and potentially life-threatening complication of a primary HSV infection, usually seen in immunocompromised patients. It is typically characterized by widespread skin lesions, visceral involvement, and systemic symptoms.
The diagnosis of disseminated herpes simplex infection is based on a combination of clinical findings, laboratory tests, and imaging studies. A PCR test of the blood or lesions can be used to detect the presence of HSV. Other tests, such as a complete blood count, comprehensive metabolic panel, and imaging studies may be used to assess for organ involvement.
Other causes of disseminated skin lesions, including varicella-zoster virus, cytomegalovirus, and other bacterial or fungal infections should be considered in the differential diagnosis.
Treatment for disseminated herpes simplex infection typically includes antiviral medication, such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famciclovir. In some cases, systemic corticosteroids may be used to reduce inflammation.
The prognosis for disseminated herpes simplex infection varies depending on the severity of the infection and the patient’s underlying health status. In general, the prognosis is good if treatment is initiated quickly and is followed closely.