What is the role of Tzanck preparation in the workup of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections?

Updated: Feb 27, 2019
  • Author: J Michael Klatte, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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A Tzanck preparation (see Procedures) may demonstrate the characteristic cytologic changes noted with herpesvirus infection. Cytologic examination via Tzanck testing has low sensitivity (approximately 60-70%), however; as such, use of that testing for diagnosis of herpes simplex virus infection is discouraged. [11, 18, 70]

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