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Original Research

A clinical study of pattern, complications, and visual outcome of viral keratitis

Pankaj Choudhary, Charudatt Chalisgaonkar, Sujata Lakhtakia, Anamika Dwivedi, Vaishali Khare.


Background: Herpes simplex viral (HSV) keratitis typically presents as an infection of the superficial layer of the cornea, with punctate or diffuse branching (dendritic) lesions of the epithelium that do not usually involve the stroma in primary infections. The most cases of herpes simplex keratitis are due to reactivation of the virus from latency leading to recurrent episodes of corneal inflammation and scarring.

Objective: To study the seasonal variation, recurrence, and precipitating factors for viral keratitis.

Materials and Methods: This study consisted of 119 eyes of 110 patients consecutively from outdoor and those admitted in tertiary care hospital in central India, from May 2010 to November 2012. All patients were clinically diagnosed as viral keratitis. All patients underwent the detailed examination protocol. At the completion of the study, statistical data were analyzed.

Results: Incidence of HSV keratitis was high in younger age group (21-40 years of age), in patients more than 60 years of age group, in the months of May to August. It was predominantly found in laborers. Fever and common cold were the important factors in the recurrence of HSV viral keratitis. Few cases of recurrence reported the use of traditional eye medications and steroids and had more worsened visual acuity in this study.

Conclusion: Patient counseling in HSV keratitis is must during the 1st attack, regarding nature of disease, certain triggering factors, and importance of regular follow-ups.

Key words: Herpes Simplex Keratitis; Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus; Viral Keratitis; Seasonal Variation; Recurrence

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