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Healing of recurrent herpes simplex corneal epithelial lesions treated with topical acyclovir A non-contact photomicrographic in vivo study in the human cornea.

Author(s): Tabery HM

Affiliation(s): Department of Ophthalmology, Malmo University Hospital, Sweden.

Publication date & source: 2001-06, Acta Ophthalmol Scand., 79(3):256-61.

Publication type: Case Reports

PURPOSE: To examine morphological changes occurring in recurrent herpes simplex virus (HSV) epithelial keratitis after the application of topical acyclovir ointment 3%. MATERIAL AND METHODS: 7 patients examined with the slit lamp and photographed by non-contact in vivo photomicrography. RESULTS: Within one day of treatment the lesions lost their typical herpetic features, and after about 2-3 days the morphology seemed to reflect only the sequelae: unhealthy epithelium and abnormal cells located at the level of the basement membrane. Two patients showed epitheliopathy compatible with the side-effects of the treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The rapid loss of typical HSV features after drug application reflects a successful arrest of the virus replication, freeing the epithelial healing forces. At what point of time infectious virus is eradicated and the treatment can be safely stopped cannot be determined clinically. Healing in the sense of restitution ad integrum is a slow process showing individual variations. Abnormal intra-/subepithelial cells are last to disappear.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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