• Rings in the neonate.

      Hackett, C B; McAleer, M A; O'Donnell, B F; Department of Dermatology, The Children's University Hospital, Temple St, Dublin 1. (2011-02)
      Neonatal lupus erythematosus (NLE) is an uncommon disease of the neonate. It is believed to be caused by the transplacental passage of maternal autoantibodies to the ribonucleoproteins (Ro/SSA, La/SSB or rarely U RNP) as these are almost invariably present in NLE sera. The most common clinical manifestations include cutaneous lupus lesions and congenital complete heart block. Hepatobiliary and haematologic abnormalities are reported less frequently. We describe a patient with cutaneous NLE to illustrate and raise awareness of the characteristic annular eruption of this condition. We also emphasize the need for thorough investigation for concomitant organ involvement and for maternal education regarding risk in future pregnancies.
    • An unusual cause of granulomatous dermatitis and panniculitis.

      Hackett, C B; Maguire, A; Heffernan, E; Sheahan, K; Collins, P; Department of Dermatology, St Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin, Ireland. c.hackett@svuh.ie (2012-01)
    • Varicella-zoster virus immunity in dermatological patients on systemic immunosuppressant treatment.

      Hackett, C B; Wall, D; Fitzgerald, S F; Rogers, S; Kirby, B; Department of Dermatology, St Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4, , Ireland. c.hackett@svuh.ie (2012-02-01)
      BACKGROUND: Primary varicella infection is caused by varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It is a common childhood infection, which is usually benign but can occasionally cause morbidity and mortality. In immunosuppressed adults, atypical presentation and disseminated disease can occur with significant morbidity and mortality. A VZV vaccine is available. OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to measure the prevalence of immunity to VZV and to determine the predictive value of a self-reported history of varicella infection in a population of dermatological patients receiving systemic immunosuppressant therapy. We sought to assess the need for routine serological testing for varicella-zoster immunity in this cohort. METHODS: Serological testing for VZV immunity was done on 228 patients receiving systemic immunosuppressive treatment for a dermatological condition. Information regarding a history of previous primary VZV infection was obtained from each patient. RESULTS: Two hundred and twenty-eight patients had VZV serology performed. The mean age of the patients was 49.6 years. The prevalence of VZV seropositivity in this cohort was 98.7%. One hundred and two patients (44.7%) reported having a definite history of primary VZV. The sensitivity of a self-reported history of VZV infection was 45.3% with a specificity of 100%. The positive and negative predictive values of a self-reported history of VZV for serologically confirmed immunity were 100% and 2.3%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of VZV IgG antibodies in our cohort of Irish dermatology patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy is 98.7%. A recalled history of varicella infection is a good predictor of serological immunity. This study has shown that there are VZV-susceptible individuals within our cohort. These patients did not have a clear history of previous infection. We recommend serological testing of patients without a clear history of infection prior to the commencement of immunosuppressive therapy and vaccination of patients with negative serology.