Pediatric herpes simplex virus keratitis.Cornea. 2009 Apr; 28(3):249-53.C
To report the clinical characteristics and visual outcomes of pediatric herpes simplex virus (HSV) keratitis.
The medical records of 29 patients younger than 16 years with HSV keratitis who were diagnosed and treated at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan, between 1996 and 2004 were retrospectively reviewed. The diagnosis of HSV keratitis was proven by a positive viral culture and/or real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction or by a clear history of dendritic keratitis or herpetic kerato-uveitis. Type of HSV keratitis, recurrence rate, and visual outcome were analyzed.
The average age at the entry into the study was 5.7 years (range: 7 months to 15 years). Mean follow-up time was 35.3 months (range: 2-69 months). Epithelial keratitis including dendritic and geographic ulcers was noted in 14 eyes, stromal keratitis in 2 eyes, stromal keratitis concurrent with epithelial keratitis in 8 eyes, and endotheliitis in 6 eyes. One patient had sequential involvement of both eyes. Thirteen patients (45%) developed recurrent HSV keratitis after the first documented episode. Female gender (but not age or the type of keratitis) was significantly associated with recurrences. Five patients who were maintained on oral valacyclovir prophylaxis up to 1 year had no recurrence during the period. Fifteen of 21 patients younger than 8 years of age had best-corrected visual acuity available at last follow-up, and 10 patients developed amblyopia.
Children with HSV keratitis are at risk for recurrent keratitis and amblyopia. Prolonged systemic antiviral prophylaxis may help to prevent such consequences.