JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
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Varicella Zoster Virus in Temporal Arteries of Patients With Giant Cell Arteritis.

Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is an immune-mediated disease of unknown etiology. Varicella zoster virus (VZV) antigen was found in all of 4 GCA-positive temporal arteries (TAs) but was not present in any of 13 normal TAs. All 4 GCA-positive TAs contained viral antigen in skip areas, mostly in the adventitia and media and least in the intima. Despite formalin fixation, VZV DNA was detected in 2 of 4 GCA-positive, VZV antigen-positive TAs. Skeletal muscle was attached to 3 of 4 TAs, and VZV antigen was found in 2 and VZV DNA in 1. VZV may cause GCA.

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