Follow-up information was obtained on 102 unselected patients who had undergone splenectomy for nonmalignant disease (ie, trauma, surgical complications, and hematologic indications). In 422 postsplenectomy years, three cases of herpes zoster were observed, two of which were associated with generalized cutaneous dissemination. This incidence is no greater than that reported elsewhere for age-matched normal population. We conclude that in patients without malignancy, splenectomy does not predispose to herpes zoster, but may play a role in cutaneous dissemination.
(JAMA 243:56-58, 1980)