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Distinguishing Features of Anterior Uveitis Caused by Herpes Simplex Virus, Varicella-Zoster Virus, and Cytomegalovirus

Published:March 24, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2021.03.020

      Purpose

      To determine distinguishing features of the clinical characteristics of anterior uveitis (AU) caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV).

      Design

      Retrospective, multicenter case series.

      Methods

      Consecutive patients with herpetic AU examined at 11 tertiary centers in Japan between January 2012 and December 2017 and who were followed for ≥3 months were evaluated. Diagnosis was made by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for HSV, VZV, or CMV in the aqueous humor, or classical signs of herpes zoster ophthalmicus.

      Results

      This study enrolled 259 herpetic AU patients, including PCR-proven HSV-AU (30 patients), VZV-AU (50), and CMV-AU (147), and herpes zoster ophthalmicus (32). All HSV-AU and VZV-AU patients were unilateral, while 3% of CMV-AU patients were bilateral. Most HSV-AU and VZV-AU patients were sudden onset with an acute clinical course, while CMV-AU had a more insidious onset and chronic course. There were no significant differences for all surveyed symptoms, signs, and complications between HSV-AU and VZV-AU. However, significant differences were detected for many items between CMV-AU and the other two herpetic AU types. Ocular hyperemia and pain, blurring of vision, ciliary injection, medium-to-large keratic precipitates (KPs), cells and flare in the anterior chamber, and posterior synechia significantly more often occurred in HSV-AU and VZV-AU vs CMV-AU. In contrast, small KPs, coin-shaped KPs, diffuse iris atrophy, elevated intraocular pressure, and glaucoma surgery were significantly more frequent in CMV-AU vs HSV-AU and VZV-AU.

      Conclusion

      This multicenter, retrospective study identified distinguishing features of HSV-AU, VZV-AU, and CMV-AU.
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