Herpes simplex keratitis and visual impairment: a case series

Kabra, Amit; Lalitha, Prajna; Mahadevan, Kannan; Prajna, Namperumalsamy Venkatesh; Srinivasan, Muthaiah
March 2006
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology;Mar2006, Vol. 54 Issue 1, p23
Academic Journal
journal article
Purpose: To record the natural history of herpes simplex keratitis and estimate visual impairment in eyes of patients diagnosed with herpes simplex keratitis.Materials: This was a retrospective, descriptive case study for five years of the eyes of patients with clinically diagnosed herpes simplex keratitis. These patients had presented to the cornea services and a cornea specialist carried out the ocular examination under slit-lamp magnification. The medical records were reviewed by the authors. Visual acuity at presentation and clinical details on examination were recorded and, diagnosis of the stage of disease given in the case record was noted. Statistical analysis was done using chi-square-test and Fisher exact test.Results: Of a total of 212 patients (220 eyes), there were 144 males and 68 females; 118 eyes presented with stromal lesions, 44 eyes with epithelial lesions, 39 eyes with epithelial and stromal lesions and 19 eyes with endothelitis. The improvement in visual acuity to more than 20/40 in the four clinical groups was 23 out of 44 eyes with epithelial lesion (52.27%), 83 out of the 118 eyes with stromal lesions (70.33%), 23 out of 39 eyes with epithelial and stromal lesions (58.97%) and 8 out of the 19 eyes with endothelitis (42.10%). The mean improvement in visual acuity was 3.44 lines (SD +/- 4.06).Conclusion: Most patients had mild disease. The majority of the patients attained the final visual acuity of 6/12 or better in the affected eye. Thus, there was only a temporary visual morbidity with fairly good functional visual outcome in majority of the patients.


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